“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.”
The classic affirmation of the ancient Chinese strategist and philosopher is to be ignored at one’s own great peril.
The rest of the world, and China in particular, sees Mr Obama in the opposite light – as a weak leader in the autumn of his presidency… Mr Xi has shown Mr Obama little respect since their first summit in California last year. Mr Obama warned his Chinese counterpart to stop the cyber attacks on the Pentagon and other targets. China’s cyber-incursions increased. Earlier this year, the White House indicted five Chinese nationals for cyber-espionage, including a senior military officer. None are likely to be brought to trial. It was the kind of empty gesture Beijing has come to expect of Mr Obama.
Vladimir Putin could not have said it better. Nor Bashir Assad. Or Rouhani. Or our (erstwhile) allies, either. Embolden our adversaries, worry our partners. That is the sum total of the foreign policy accomplishments of the Obama Administration and its tiresome and amateur ideological shills.
There will be a price to pay, in power, influence, and prestige. Or in the lives of Lance Corporals. Or both.