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The next time a presidential campaign tries to convince you that its candidate has foreign policy experience by virtue of having spent a few years overseas as a child, remember Barack Obama. Among post-World War II administrations, his is one of the worst on foreign affairs, in a frequently abysmal field. During his six years in office, Obama has often appeared to regard foreign policy as an imposition. Instead, what has gone down in flames are America's alliances in the Middle East, so that next to Obama, even George W. Bush comes across as a great conciliator.Today, that apathy has come back to bite Obama. He has deployed troops to Iraq once again; in Syria his campaign against ISIS has marginalized those rebels willing to work with the United States, undermining U.S. aims; American relations with Turkey and Saudi Arabia, both old allies, are in a shambles, while those with Egypt have not yet recovered from the tensions raised by the Egyptian army's forced removal of President Mohammad Morsi; Obama's promise to advance Palestinian-Israeli peace negotiations was never seriously implemented; and Obama's opening to Iran continues to flounder, despite the president's best efforts to find common ground with Tehran.This was the case with the emergence of ISIS, which Obama admits he underestimated.
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