WASHINGTON -- Calling President Barack Obama's foreign policy "hard to watch," Sen. Bob Corker blasted it Wednesday in The Washington Post, saying Obama consistently fails to back up tough talk with action.
Corker, from Tennessee and the ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, wrote an article that appeared on the newspaper's op-ed page.
"More often than not, the president doesn't hit singles and doubles; he just balks," he said.
Corker reviewed Obama's actions in a series of foreign policy crises dating back to the fall of Moammar Gadhafi in Libya in 2011. Corker noted the State Department now regards Libya as a safe haven for terrorists.
But the senator saved some of his harshest words for Obama's responses to civil war in Syria and the actions of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"The president's empty promises and unreliability are at their most acute in Eastern Europe. Our tepid response to Russian aggression in Ukraine for nearly five months emboldened Putin, directly undermining U.S. interests and making Europe, and thus the United States, less secure," Corker wrote.
"And while we are seeing the president take some steps in the right direction, which we strongly applaud, U.S. sanctions against Russia and support for Ukraine have been implemented in a day-late-dollar-short method. The military aid for Ukraine that has been delivered consists of little more than body armor and ready-to-eat meals. Meanwhile, Putin openly mocks Obama's efforts."
Michael O'Hanlon, a foreign policy expert at the Brookings Institution, said in an interview that Corker made valid points in regard to Libya and the United States' failure to help Syrian rebels.
But he said Corker "was not well served" by describing Obama's policies as failing across the globe. He cited the president's Far Eastern strategy and his sanctions policy toward Iran as examples to the contrary.
"I don't see him quite as much telegraphing a foreign policy of weakness as Corker does," O'Hanlon said, adding those kind of remarks come across as partisan and "make people retreat to their corners."