THe U.S. Administration seems to think foreign policy is about telling the rest of the world what to do whilst doing little to ensure the U.S judgement is sensible or can be enforced.
John Kerry behaves like some over privileged commentator. He tells Russia who they can and can’t bomb in Syria with no ability to make them stick to his rules. Instead they bomb US allies amongst the opposition to Assad and Mr Kerry says he has improved collaboration.
Yesterday there were devastating attacks on hospitals, to add to the concerted damage to civilian targets around Aleppo in recent days. The Assad regime is blamed, and they tell us the ceasefire will not be possible.
During his period in office we have seen the Syrian civil war get worse and watched as Russia has intervened more decisively in Syria in ways he does not want. The US has failed to act successfully in Libya, backed unhelpful EU positions on Ukraine and the Middle East, and withdrawn most of their troops from Iraq and Afghanistan without creating settled and effective democratic governments there.
I accept that none of this is easy, and sometimes even the USA has to realise it dos not have the power to bring about what it wishes. It is however difficult to see good in what John Kerry has furthered with President Obama.
The Middle East is in a dreadful state. The Syrian civil war has just got worse, with yet more extensive migration. Mr Kerry still seems to believe there is a democratic opposition capable of winning the Syrian civil war, but so far his clumsy and limited interventions have helped prolong the agony without supporting and developing a proper democratic challenge to Assad and ISIL.
In the north of Syria there is also worse news, that the US ally Turkey is now attacking the Kurds, another US ally in Syria, whilst Saudi Arabia, another US ally is going to the support of Turkey. There is no sign of Putin yet ending the bombing of targets the US opposes.
Meanwhile Mr Kerry has time to lecture the UK on our own future as a democratic nation, recommending we do not seek to restore our democratic control over our own affairs. Mr Kerry clearly does not believe Mexicans, Cubans and Canadians should tell the U.S. what laws to follow, so why does he think continental European countries should impose laws on the UK?
Instead of lecturing us, we need to hear from Mr Kerry on how he is going to get his peace plan for Syria back on track, and how he is going to influence Russia, Saudi Arabia and Turkey in the way he wishes. I do not feel more secure for the actions and words of either the USA or the EU over Syria and the Middle East, nor over Ukraine.