President Obama has conducted the most deleterious foreign policy of any U.S. president since Woodrow Wilson. This is not due just to a dead ambassador on the streets of Benghazi, a phony red line in Syria which led to 400,000 dead, two million wounded, and two million refugees, losing Egypt to Islamic radicals, or empowering a terrorist regime in Iran. Those developments alone are enough to rank Obama among the worst foreign policy presidents. Obama’s most egregious error is far worse – his inability to grasp the balance-of-power dynamics among the U.S., Russia and China. Yet, Obama’s blunder is Trump’s opening to rescue U.S. foreign policy from grave weakness, and restore U.S. leadership to the world.
There are three primary powers in the world – the U.S., Russia, and China. All other nations are secondary allies, or tertiary powers. In a three-power system, the object of foreign policy for a primary power is to align with one of others to the detriment of the third. A great power that does not pursue this policy becomes the victim of an alliance between the remaining two. Such an alliance need not be permanent; it can shift, as was the case with Nixon’s opening to China, which put Russia on the defensive and led eventually to the downfall of the Soviet Union.
This dynamic is not difficult to grasp. Adults playing the board game Risk know that while the game begins with six players, it quickly evolves to three survivors. At that point, it is imperative for two of the players to align and destroy the third by systematically attacking it, and refraining from attacking each other. The victim is quickly wiped from the board.