Haass: ‘A Big Part’ of Obama’s Foreign Policy Is Avoiding Commitment

‘I think a big part of foreign policy is not committing over the Middle East’


SCARBOROUGH: "Richard, we hear it all the time and I was speaking yesterday [with] a leader from the Middle East in the Gulf region. Just said, a year ago, we'd have followed you. Two years ago, we'd have followed you. Now, we don't have a partner in the United States. We don't trust you. And I go -- that's what  you've been hearing and we've been hearing for three or four years. Why won't this president get -- and this isn't about Barack Obama. This is about one commander in chief of the United States of America has at this time of crisis. Why won't he get his hands dirty and start building a coalition?"
HAASS: "Well, first of all, the most consequential thing he did, or he didn't do in a sense was Syria. I think the articulation of the red lines -- 
SCARBOROUGH: "Assad must go--"
HAASS: "And the red line, use of chemical weapons, still having a lack of follow through we are still having deliberations  --Secondly, I think a big part of foreign policy is not committing over the middle is easier said than done. A lot of countries."
SCARBOROUGH: "He has to work. He has to break a sweat. He has to get uncomfortable. Is this president willing to do that?"
HAASS: "I think what you have to do is say if you're willing to do xy and z we'll do ab and c. A lot of people won't associate with us unless they're confident we're going to be there and it's safe to associate with us. It's a little bit of what goes first. Until this administration is willing to make a certain scale of commitments, I don't think we're going to get it from the locals." 
SCARBOROUGH: "What's fascinating is this leader we spoke with yesterday said we've never dealt with anybody like him before. Everybody else talks, negotiates, compromises. He steaks out a position, delivers a speech and sits there and you're expected to come to him. Nobody trusts him. Nobody's going to deal with him because he just doesn't want to deal with us in good faith. We've heard that four, five years now from the Middle East especially."
HAPERIN: "It's the exact same view." 

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