The Conversation

Professor: Obama a 'Dithering, Controlling, Risk-Averse' US President

Who is this Vali Nasr person, who dares say such things about Dear Leader? Go get 'em Team Marvel! - Burn the witch!

Via The UK Telegraph:

Barack Obama is a "dithering" president whose controlling tendencies and extreme risk-averse attitude to foreign policy has damaged US interests in the Middle East, according to a new book by a senior former State Department adviser.

No, this is not the new narrative Team Marvel was looking for....

Vali Nasr, a university professor who was seconded in 2009 to work with Richard Holbrooke, Mr Obama's special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, records his profound disillusion at how a "Berlin Wall" of domestic-focused advisers was erected to protect Mr Obama.

"The president had a truly disturbing habit of funnelling major foreign policy decisions through a small cabal of relatively inexperienced White House advisers whose turf was strictly politics," Mr Nasr writes in The Dispensable Nation: America Foreign policy in Retreat.

The book sets out in detail how Mr Holbrooke, appointed with great fanfare in 2009, was systematically cut out of decision making as both he and Hillary Clinton, the former secretary of state, tried to argue the merits of engaging with the Taliban and the dangers caused by the overuse of drones.

"The White House seemed to see an actual benefit in not doing too much," Prof Nasr writes, "The goal was to spare the president the risks that necessarily come with playing the leadership role that America claims to play in this region."

This pretty much explains Benghazi in my estimation. And sorry juiceboxers, it explains the president's dithering on the gutsy call, too.


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