NBC Chief Foreign Correspondent Richard Engel acknowledged Thursday morning U.S. relations have not improved with a single nation under President Obama.
CNBC Squawk Box panelist and Home Depot founder Ken Langone pointedly asked Engel to name one country where relations have improved under President Obama’s leadership.
“I think you would be hard pressed to find that,” Engel said.
“Isn’t that a measure of foreign policy?” Langone interjected.
“Yeah,” Engel replied. “I think the reason is our allies have become confused.”
The NBC correspondent attributed some of the confusion due to the vast difference between the Bush administration’s interventionist foreign policy and President Obama’s withdrawal based approach. Although interventionism was not popular with European nations, Engel said, by the end of the Bush administration America’s allies had adjusted to it.
“Now you have a presidency that for the last six years is pulling out very rapidly. And that is creating a kind of pump action, a vortex of instability that has left allies like Saudi Arabia, like Egypt, like even some European countries very confused. Are we going in? Are we pulling out? Are we leading? Are we trying to set the agenda? That has been a lot of frustration,” Engel said.
Moreover, the NBC Chief Foreign Correspondent conceded he sympathizes with the Wall Street Journal’s critique that President Obama’s approach to foreign policy is likely to create even more problems internationally in the near future.
“Right now we have a black hole in Syria. Iraq is in a state of collapse. Libya is about to go back into a civil war. And this was the one case where we intervened militarily. So I think there is a lot of problems on the horizon in the foreign policy world just because you are off-ramping in Afghanistan,” he said.