A look at a list of the foreign policy problems facing U.S. President Barack Obama could send the sunniest optimist into depression.
The Arab-Israeli conflict: no solution in sight. Afghanistan/Pakistan: the outlook is bleak. Iran and its nuclear plans: tricky. No easy wins here. Iraq: the war is not over.
But in the foreign policy landscape, there is one low-hanging fruit ripe for the picking — Cuba – and the picking has just been made easier by a report commissioned by the ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Richard Lugar, and released this week.
Among its key points: the 47-year-old U.S. trade embargo against Cuba, the only Cold War policy still in force, has been counter-productive; U.S. policies are harming national security interests by impeding cooperation on such key issues as narcotics traffic; and the U.S. image in Latin America has been tarnished by Washington’s insistence that the region share hostility towards Cuba’s communist government.