Campaign Promises

Cabinet/Departments -> State -> Foreign Policy


ItemState
Foreign PolicyGrade
ST-29
The Promise: "Obama will personally lead diplomacy efforts beginning with a speech at a major Islamic forum in the first 100 days of his administration."
When/Where: Obama's Plan: "The War We Need to Win" dated 07/31/07.
Source: http://obama.3cdn.net/417b7e6036dd852384_luzxmvl09.pdf
Status:President Obama found his "major Islamic forum" when he addressed the Turkish Parliament on 04/06/09. According to the CIA World Factbook, Turkey is nominally 99.8% Muslim and his address was reportedly followed by a majority of the worldwide Muslim and Arab community as broadcast by Al Jazzera and Al Arabiya news networks.

A speech at Jakarta, Indonesia University on 11/10/10 was branded by local observers as repetitive and redundant to a similar speech he delivered in Cairo, Egypt on 06/04/09. Indonesia's population of 240M is reportedly 90% Muslim.

This promise has been fulfilled.
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ST-30
The Promise: "We'll establish a program for the Department of Energy and our laboratories to share technology with countries across the region."
When/Where: Obama Plan "Renewing U.S. Leadership in the Americas", dated 06/06/08.
Source: http://obama.3cdn.net/85c9392c81570937d6_lqomvygpq.pdf
Status:During the 2009 Summit of the Americas at Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago on 04/17-19/09, President Obama announced the creation of the "Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas". On 04/19/09, President Obama and his Mexican counterpart (President Calderon) established the US-Mexico Bilateral Framework on Clean Energy and Climate Change, a key tenet of which is "...expanding our extensive bilateral collaboration on clean energy technologies to facilitate renewable power generation...".

Promise fulfilled.
1.00
ST-31
The Promise: "Barack Obama and Joe Biden...will significantly increase funding for the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and other nongovernmental organizations to support these civic activists."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Strengthening Our Common Security by Investing in Our Common Humanity", dated 09/11/08.
Source: http://www.training-vanzari.ro/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/plandeafaceripoliticobama.pdf
Status:NED funding is usually under an appropriation provided by Congress to the Department of State for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The FY2008 budget allocation for the NED was $99.190M, but this amount was funded under the Democracy Fund, not under the conventional State/USAID route.

The enacted NED budget for FY2009 was $115M. Under President Obama, the NED enacted budget for FY2010 was $118M, the same amount appropriated under Continuing Resolution procedures fir FY2011. For FY2012, President Obama requested that the NED's funding be reduced to $104M but the budget enacted by Congress remained at $118M. For FY2013, President Obama is again requesting a reduction to $104M.

In light of President Obama's continuing efforts to reduce NED funding as depicted above, this promise to "significantly increase" the NED's funding has not been fulfilled.
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ST-32
The Promise: "Restore U.S. leadership on space issues by seeking code of conduct for space-faring nations, including a worldwide ban on weapons to interfere with satellites and a ban on testing anti-satellite weapons."
When/Where: Obama Campaign Document "A 21st Century Military for America" dated 11/26/07.
Source: http://obama.3cdn.net/303d3f8f5e85133bae_9ypmvyari.pdf
Status:While there may be some intent to address this issue by the U.S. National Security Council, this is an issue involving all nations capable of interfering with any other nation's satellites through the development of anti-satellite weapons.

On 06/28/10, the Obama Administration released its "National Space Policy of the United States of America." This new policy failed to address the main thrust of this promise, as it does not include any statement supporting the notion that the Obama Administration is seeking "a worldwide ban on weapons to interfere with satellites and a ban on testing anti-satellite weapons."

On 09/27/10, The European Union (EU) presented an updated version of its "Draft Code of Conduct for Outer Space Activities" to potential signatories for preventing harmful interference with space objects and refraining from intentional damage to satellites.

In 01/12, the State Department announced the Obama Administration's position that instead of signing the EU's proposed Code of Conduct, the USA would work with the EU and other nations to develop an "International Code of Conduct for Outer Space Activities." Yet on 02/17/12, Secretary Clinton endorsed the EU Code on behalf of the United States (joining Canada, Australia, Japan and India) while recognizing that the code is not legally binding and has no enforcement mechanisms.

The EU Code of Conduct is not yet formally in place. There are a total of nine countries with launch capabilities and more than 50 countries that have assets in space (space-faring nations) that would have to endorse the Code before it would be considered effective. If/when this happens, it will be impossible to monitor and enforce the Code's provisions.

It is clear that the EU, not the USA, exercised leadership in the drafting and finalization of the Code of Conduct for Outer Space Activities. Secondly, the USA has not been effective in introducing a worldwide ban on anti-satellite weapons.

This promise has not been fulfilled.
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ST-33
The Promise: "He will open "America Houses" in cities across the Arab world...America Houses would offer state-of-the-art English-language training programs, discussions, and a wide selection of current periodicals, newspapers, and literature. They would offer free Internet access and moderated programs that promote direct exchange with Americans through the use of modern information technology."
When/Where: Obama Plan: "The War We Need To Win" dated 07/31/07.
Source: http://obama.3cdn.net/417b7e6036dd852384_luzxmvl09.pdf
Status:On 12/02/10, an "America House" was opened at the Pacific Place Mall in Jakarta, Indonesia, a non-Arab country in which the majority is of the Muslim faith. Opened with corporate support provided by Microsoft, Google, Cisco and others, this high-tech outreach center (known as "@america") was the first American cultural center of its kind in the world.

This promise was to open America Houses "in cities across the Arab world". Other than Indonesia, not considered an "Arab" country, another America House was established at the U.S. Consulate in East Jerusalem in CY2010. Notwithstanding upgrades to existing cultural centers in non-Arab countries and the operation of pre-existing America Houses (i.e. Munich), the promise as has not been fulfilled.
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ST-34
The Promise: "Obama also would launch a new "America's Voice Corps" to rapidly recruit and train fluent speakers of local languages (Arabic, Bahasa Melayu, Bahasa, Farsi, Urdu, and Turkish) with public diplomacy skills, who can ensure our voice is heard in the mass media and in our efforts on the ground."
When/Where: Obama Plan: "The War We Need To Win" dated 07/31/07.
Source: http://obama.3cdn.net/417b7e6036dd852384_luzxmvl09.pdf
Status:There has been no known initiative to provide any funds, either in President Obama's FY2010 thru FY2013 Department of State budget proposals, for the creation of the promised "America's Voice Corps."

This promise has not been fulfilled.
0.00
ST-35
The Promise: "They will work to double the IAEA budget in the next four years (increasing the U.S. annual share to about $225 million)."
When/Where: Obama -Biden Plan: "Confronting 21st Century Threats" dated 09/23/08.
Source: http://blatantreality.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/fact_sheet_21st_century_threats.pdf
Status:The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) budget for CY2009 was 296M Euros ($414M), meaning that to double its budget in four years requires a commitment by the 151 member states to fund the IAEA by approximately $828M by CY2013, without adjusting for inflation. For CY2012, the IAEA's budget was 313M Euros ($391M).

The State Department's FY2009 budget for the U.S. portion of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)'s budget was $93.9M. Enacted under the Obama Administration, the IAEA allocation for FY2010 was $101.4M, with State's request for FY2011 at $112.8M which resulted in a continuing resolution appropriation of $65M. For FY2012, State requested an increase to $85.9M.

First, the IAEA's budget did not "double" during the four years of President Obama's first term in office. Second, the U.S. contribution to the IAEA, except for FY2010, has been less than the FY2009 appropriation and far from the annual rate of $225M reflected in this promise.

This promise has not been fulfilled.
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ST-36
The Promise: "...will lead a multilateral effort to address the issue of "odious debt" by investigating ways in which "loan sanctions" might be employed to create disincentives for private creditors to lend money to repressive, authoritarian regimes."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Strengthening Our Common Security by Investing in Our Common Humanity", dated 09/11/08.
Source: http://www.training-vanzari.ro/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/plandeafaceripoliticobama.pdf
Status:Repressive regimes exist in Africa, South America, Middle East and elsewhere. This promise was intended to be an an international initiative, led by the United States, with global application.

As of early-CY2013, the Obama Administration has addressed this promise on a selective basis only (i.e. North Korea, Syria and Iran), which was not the intent of this promise.

This promise has not been fulfilled.
0.00
ST-37
The Promise: "...will take the lead at the G-8, working with and leveraging the engagement of the private sector and private philanthropy, to launch Health Infrastructure 2020 - a global effort to work with developing countries to invest in the full range of infrastructure needed to improve and protect both American and global health."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Strengthening Our Common Security by Investing in Our Common Humanity", dated 09/11/08.
Source: http://www.training-vanzari.ro/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/plandeafaceripoliticobama.pdf
Status:The 35th G-8 Summit held in Italy in 2009 did not include the establishment of a "Health Infrastructure 2020" as an agenda item. Neither did the 36th G-8 Summit (dubbed the "Muskoka Summit") held at Huntsville, Ontario on 06/25-26/10, nor the 37th G-8 Summit at Deauville, France on 05/26-27/11, nor the 38th Summit at Capt David, Maryland on 05/18-19/12.

This campaign promise has not been fulfilled.
0.00
ST-38
The Promise: "...will extend opportunities for older individuals such as teachers, engineers, and doctors to serve overseas. This effort will include a Global Energy Corps to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions overseas and promote low-carbon and affordable energy solutions in developing nations..."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Helping All Americans Serve Their Country" dated 09/11/08.
Source: http://www.thepowerhour.com/news4/NationalServicePlanFactSheet.pdf
Status:This promise, if it was implemented, would be an extension of U.S. foreign policy much like the Peace Corps run by the State Department.

The creation of a "Global Energy Corps" does not appear in any available Obama Administration near- or long-term plan as seen from the perspective of the President's FY2010 through FY2013 budget proposals.

This promise has not been fulfilled.
0.00
ST-39
The Promise: "...will establish a Shared Security Partnership Program to invest $5 billion over three years to improve cooperation between U.S. and foreign intelligence and law enforcement agencies. This program will include information sharing, funding for training, operations, border security, anti-corruption programs, technology, and the targeting of terrorist financing."
When/Where: Obama Plan: "The War We Need to Win" dated 07/31/07.
Source: http://obama.3cdn.net/417b7e6036dd852384_luzxmvl09.pdf
Status:On 05/08/09, the State Department presented its FY2010 budget proposal. In it, State requested $90M to launch the "Shared Security Partnership" (SSP) to help address the "wide array of threats posed by terrorist organizations by building on previous law enforcement and counter-terrorist efforts to create a regional and global information-sharing and coordination infrastructure."

The Congressional authorization for FY2010 SSP activities included:
- $21.2M for Central America/Caribbean cross-cutting initiative to coordinate regional and global law enforcement and anti-terrorist efforts;
- $49.4M for border security, nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction, anti-corruption and anti-terrorism efforts;
- $9.4M for cross-cutting initiatives in Africa to coordinate regional and global law enforcement and anti-terrorist efforts;
- $3.3M for the Trans-Sahara SSP.
- $10M for SSP air and maritime equipment, training, and command, control, and communications (C3) equipment for the Caribbean;

The "National Security Strategy" presented by President Obama On 05/27/10 addresses the fact that the U.S. is "strengthening our partnership with foreign intelligence services and sustaining strong ties with our close allies." To that end, the SSP program was funded to the level of at least $93.3M in FY2010, as outlined above.

Since the FY2010 budget submission by the President, there has been no specific mention of the SSP program except as a subset of the International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) budget line item. Even if SSP program funding was sustained at around $90M for each fiscal year subsequent to FY2010, it is evident that the investment of "$5 billion over three years" in the SSP program did not occur.

This promise has not been fulfilled.
0.00
ST-40
The Promise: "...will work for the release of jailed scholars, activists, and opposition party leaders such as Ayman Nour in Egypt."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Strengthening Our Common Security by Investing in Our Common Humanity", dated 09/11/08.
Source: http://www.training-vanzari.ro/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/plandeafaceripoliticobama.pdf
Status:The greatest call for ther release of dissidents in recent memory came from President Bush in 06/07 at a conference of dissidents in the Czech Republic. He said: "I look forward to the day when a conference like this one include Alexander Kozulin of Belarus, Aung San Suu Kyi of Burma, Oscar Elias Biscet of Cuba, Father Nguyen Van Ly of Vietnam, Ayman Nour of Egypt."

- Egyptian Aymasn Nour was released from imprisonment for alleged electoral fraud on 02/18/09 reportedly on "medical grounds," but whose release within a month of President Obama's inauguration was viewed as an attempt by President Mubarak to repair relations with the USA that had been strained during the Bush Administration because of Nour's incarceration.

- Nobel Peace Prize laureat Myanmarian Aung San Suu Kyi, a pro-democracy opposition leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner in Myanmar, was released from house arrest on 11/13/10 by the oppressive military's proxy political party that was replaced by a nominally civilian government in 03/11. On 04/01/12, she was elected to the lower house of the Burmese parliament. The United Nations and human rights groups estimate that as of early-CY2013, several hundred political prisoners continue to be held by the Myanmar Government according to the international "Human Rights Watch" organization. Secretary of State Clinton had repeatedly called for Aung San Suu Kyi's release while she was a political prisoner.

- Vietnamese Father Thaddeus Nguyen Van Ly was released from jail in 03/10 for health reasons.

- Cuban Oscar Elias Biscet, an advocate for human rights and recipient of the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom, was sentenced to a 25-year jail term in CY2003 for "disorderly conduct" and "counter-revolutionary activities." He was released on 03/11/11 primarily due to negotiations between the Cuban Government and the Catholic Church of Cuba.

- Russian oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his associate Platon Lebedev received an initial sentence of nine years in 05/05 for fraud, plus another three years on 12/30/10 for embezzlement and money laundering. Conventional wisdom on this matter was articulated in Senate Resolution #65 0n 02/16/11 which states in part that the conviction of the above individuals "constitutes a politically motivated case of selective arrest and prosecution that flagrantly undermines the rule of law and independence of the judicial system of Russia."

- Chinese Nobel Peace Prize laureate, democracy advocate and writer Liu Xiaobo (who died of cancer in 07/17), whose wife and family members were placed under house arrest, was sentenced to 11 years in jail and 2 years deprivation of political rights on 12/25/09. The charge: "inciting subversion of state power." This is his fourth prison term. President Obama called for Liu Xiaobo's release on 10/08/10 and again on 12/10/10 when Liu Xiaobo was honored in absentia in Oslo as Nobel Peace Prize winner. As a Nobel Peace Prize winner himself (2009), it would have been inappropriate for President Obama not to recognize his fellow laureat in this manner. There have been no formal demarches to the Chinese Government on this matter since then. Hundreds of activists and intellectuals have reportedly been detained or have simply disappeared in China's efforts to thwart the possibility of a popular uprising such as experienced in the Middle East and North Africa during CY2011 and early-CY2012. Secretary of State Clinton called for Liu Xiaobo's unconditional release on 10/09/10.

- Iranian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani was originally sentenced to be executed for refusing to renounce his Christian faith in accordance with Sharia law. He was released from custody by the Iranian Government on 09/08/12 as a face-saving measure. The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) received assistance from the State Department in its efforts to secure Pastor Nadarkhani's release with a plea from Secretary Clinton on 12/10/11 that called for his "immediate and unconditional" release.

The above are but very few, high-visibility examples.

This promise has been fulfilled.
1.00
ST-41
The Promise: "...will increase support for the building blocks of durable democracies -- strong legislatures, independent judiciaries, free press, vibrant civil society, honest police forces, religious freedom, and the rule of law."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "To Secure America and Restore our Standing," undated.
Source: http://asrudiancenter.wordpress.com/2009/02/19/barack-obama-and-joe-bidens-plan-to-secure-america-and-restore-our-standing/
Status:This promise was headed toward non-fulfillment when the Obama Administration failed to support the popular uprising in Iran in CY2009. This was an excellent opportunity to influence the Iranian people's deep desire for democracy. On this matter, the Obama Administration hit the "mute button."

In early 08/10, future leaders from 46 African countries gathered in Washington, D.C. as guests of the U.S. Government to participate in conferences with American businesses and nongovernmental organizations. The conference themes included youth empowerment, good governance, and economic opportunity. When President Obama addressed this group on 08/04/10, he stressed his belief that good governance is at the center of economic development on the African continent and that there needed to be a "clear sense of the rule of law" for growth and opportunity to flourish.

In 02/11, the people of Egypt took matters into their own hands, demanding the cessation of the 30-year Mubarak autocratic government. The Obama Administration' supportive reaction was commendable. Mubarak quit, and presidential elections on 05/23-24/12 were followed by main elections on 06/16-17/12. In comments made during a press brief on 02/15/11, President Obama stated that governments in the Middle East "can't maintain power through coercion" and that "you have a young, vibrant generation with the Middle East that is looking for greater opportunity...you've got to get out ahead of change - you can't be behind the curve."

The promise was to "increase support" for fledgling democracies. Above are examples where President Obama voiced that support.

Initial progress toward promise fulfillment was made in CY2011 involving "Arab Spring" countries: Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, and Libya. With regard to Yemen and Syria, however, the Obama Administration has had a different approach. In Yemen, President Obama supported the out-going president Ali Abdullah Saleh, seen by some as a despot who looked the other way when his armed forces killed hundreds of democracy seekers during CY2011. This Obama Administration support was in recognition of President Salah's fight against Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

In Syria, the Obama Administration has done little else but publicly condemn the regime of President Bashar Al-Assad for the killing of over 470,000 democracy seekers as of mid-CY2016 since they took to the streets of Damascus in 03/11. The U.S. has repeatedly been impotent in convincing China and Russia to support sanctions against Syria in the United Nations. In the face of escalating violence against western interests in Damascus, the U.S., long viewed as a "toothless tiger" by the suffering Syrian populace, closed its Embassy on 02/06/12.

The Obama Administration has given the U.S. man/woman on the street the impression that it has been selective in its support of nations whose people seek democracy.

Because of this selectivity, only initial progress has been made toward promise fulfillment.
0.65