President Obama has repeatedly ignored his own pragmatic approach to foreign policy — articulated in a cleaned-up version by his inner circle as “Don’t do stupid stuff” — including the ill-advised swap of five Taliban leaders for POW Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, GOP policy advisor Karl Rove charged Wednesday.
“A crude, meaningless phrase cannot substitute for statecraft, and the administration’s actions — or often enough, its inaction — fail to meet his own test,” President George W. Bush’s former deputy chief of staff wrote in an op-ed column for The Wall Street Journal.
Rove railed at the prisoner swap, noting even the “president’s own commission had said the Taliban members should never be released.”
“But it was not smart to herald the exchange in a Rose Garden ceremony when the White House knew that there were serious questions about whether the soldier deserted,” he wrote.
Rove noted the irony the Obama administration fails “to understand that the phrase he chose to describe his foreign policy is an indictment of his foreign policy.”
For example, Rove writes, “it was unwise … for Mr. Obama to say in August 2011 that Syrian President Bashar Assad should go — without having a plan to force him out,” as it was for him to refuse “to arm the moderate Syrian opposition in 2011.”