National Security

Richard Haass: Obama Has Made Middle East ‘Much Worse,’ Damaged American Reliability

Council on Foreign Relations president Richard Haass expressed his concerns about the Obama administration’s handling of U.S. foreign policy on Morning Joe Monday.

When asked about how the President has guided the U.S. in these times of turmoil, Haass said that President Obama inherited a difficult situation but was blunt in his take on President Obama’s foreign policy decisions: "The short answer is not terribly well. In the Middle East, he inherited a difficult situation–but made it much worse."

"More than anything, the most consequential set of actions was of Syria," he said. "Raising fundamental questions in the region and beyond about American reliability. Letting a bad situation get worse. His best idea of his presidency was to pivot to Asia to put more emphasis there, but we haven't done it. We decreased our diplomacy."

In the latest issue of Foreign Affairs, Haass wrote, "specific U.S. policy choices, especially in the Middle East, have raised doubts about the American judgment and the reliability of the United States’ threats and promises."

As a result of the Obama administration's failure to follow through on its rhetoric, "American influence has diminished."