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FP: Obama's Jimmy Carter Moment

April 26, 2012


"North Korea's impending nuclear test is just the latest illustration of Barack Obama's weakness and naiveté abroad," writes special advisor to Mitt Romney's presidential campaign, Richard Williamson, who served in the Reagan White House as an assistant to the president in the 1980s and as the president's special envoy to Sudan in the 2000s.

In recent weeks, North Korea tested a long-range missile that could someday hold a nuclear warhead and threaten American shores. It is preparing to test a nuclear device for a third time. We are entering an exceptionally dangerous period, one that has us "within an inch of war," according to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.

It is difficult to know what kinds of calculations or miscalculations North Korea's young new leader and his entourage might make in the period ahead. But there are other reasons for worry far from the corridors of power in Pyongyang.

The last weeks and months have exposed profound dysfunction in the corridors of Washington where U.S. foreign and defense policy are formulated. With President Obama's foreign policy unraveling, his reelection campaign has been quick to attack Mitt Romney as a distraction. But events abroad may be bringing us to a juncture at which the inexperience and incompetence of a presidency crystallizes in the public mind. In short, we are approaching a Jimmy Carter moment. In a perilous world, this is not the kind of leadership our country needs.

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