go to top
Leaders from Israel, Mali, France, Germany, the EU and Palestine march during a rally in Paris, France, Jan. 11, 2015 (AP photo by Philippe Wojazer).

With No-Show in Paris, Obama Remains in Reactive Mode

Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2015

The failure of U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration to send a high-level representative to the Paris unity march, convened in the wake of the terrorist attack on the editorial offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, is being described by some as the first foreign policy gaffe of 2015.

Given the Obama team’s laser-like focus on domestic issues in the run-up to the State of the Union address, however, it is not surprising. Moreover, given that one of the administration’s goals seems to be to halt further deterioration in the critical U.S.-India relationship, it is very understandable why the president chose not to divert Secretary of State John Kerry from his advance mission to New Delhi to prepare for Obama’s own visit later this month. The administration knows that despite its announced rebalance to the Pacific, Asian leaders are all too aware of Obama’s tendency to shift them to the back burner whenever troubles arise in Europe or the Middle East. Even at the risk of damage to a long-established relationship with France, keeping Kerry in New Delhi was an acknowledgement that India would not be prepared to accept a rain check yet again. ...

Want to Read the Rest?
Login or Subscribe Today.
Get unlimited access to must-read news, analysis and opinion from top experts. Subscribe to World Politics Review and you'll receive instant access to 9,000+ articles in the World Politics Review Library, along with new comprehensive analysis every weekday . . . written by leading topic experts.

YES, I want to subscribe now.