President Obama’s relative inattention to Africa – which with growing economies and al Qaeda spreading rapidly through the continent is of increasing economic and strategic importance to the United States – was the result of him being a very busy man, thank you!
From National Security Council spokesman Ben Rhodes today:
When you’re ending two wars and prosecuting an effort against al Qaeda and dealing with a very complex international environment, part of the opportunity that comes from winding down those efforts is being more engaged in Africa at the presidential level, so that as you close out the Iraq war, as we’re winding down Afghanistan — we’ve talked a lot about our efforts to pivot to Asia in terms of resources and attention.
Africa is another one of those emerging regions that’s going to have to take up more of our attention as we come out of the period in U.S. foreign policy that we’ve been in.
The president, who spent all of 2012 campaigning and is already back at it for the 2014 election, and who has played golf 129 times, is too busy to attend to our national interests.
I almost never heard him talk about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Really, how focused on them was he? And what did he really have to do? He can task aides to work aggressively on Africa issues and could easily have fit a week in for a trip before now – instead of running around the country bashing Republicans.
Oh, it’s so hard being president. I’m glad he’s finally able to fit Africa into his schedule.