Campaign Promises

Cabinet/Departments -> State

The Promise: "As president, Obama will take immediate steps to end the genocide in Darfur..."
When/Where: Obama and Biden's Plan for America: "Blueprint for Change," dated 10/09/08
Source: Obama and Biden's documents/550007-barack-obama-2008-blueprint-for-change.html
Status:Early in his presidency, President Obama named Major General (Ret.) J. Scott Gration as his special envoy to Sudan on 03/18/09. On 06/17/09 Gration told reporters in Washington that the Government of Sudan was no longer engaged in a campaign of mass murder in Darfur.

Months later on 10/19/09, however, President Obama referred to the situation in Darfur as "genocide," acknowledging that "hundreds of thousands of people" had been killed in Darfur and "millions more displaced."

As the South completed its 01/11 referendum on self-determination and independence from the North/Khartoum government and moved ahead to become the world's newest country (South Sudan) on 07/09/11, the Obama Administration appeared to focus only on the North-South secession challenge over the continuing lack of a meaningful cease fire in the Western Sudanese region of Darfur.

President Obama appointed Princeton Lyman as Special Envoy to South Sudan and Sudan on 03/31/11 to replace Gration. Under Lyman's watch, the "Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD)," was signed in 07/11 between the Government of Sudan and the Darfuri rebel groups to end their conflict that was the root cause of the genocide. Insignificant progress was made after the document was signed to resolve the Darfur situation because of lack of implementation and enforcement.

In fact, mass murders in Darfur are known to have continued through the end of President Obama's two terms in office, although on a lesser scale than in previous years. For example, In 09/16, the Sudanese government reportedly launched chemical weapon attacks on civilian populations in Darfur, killing at least 250 people, mostly children. By end-CY2016, about 600K people were known to have been killed in Darfur and nearly 3M displaced.

This promise was not fulfilled.
The Promise: "...will hold the government in Khartoum accountable for abiding by its commitments under the Comprehensive Peace Accord that ended the 30 year conflict between the north and south."
When/Where: Plan for America: "Blueprint for Change," dated 10/09/08
Status:The Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) signed on 01/09/05 by the southern Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM), based in Juba (south), and the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) in Khartoum (north). Among its provisions: withdrawal of northern troops from the south, national elections, a census, the sharing of southern oil revenues with the north, power-sharing, and it set a timetable for a referendum on independence for southern Sudan. The CPA expired on 07/07/11, the date South Sudan became an independent nation.

Through the years, U.S.-Sudan relations have been strained. After a six-year closure, the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum reopened in CY2002 with a Charge d'Affaires as the senior U.S. diplomat, not an Ambassador, a situation that exists to the present day. Compounding this situation, the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague issued two warrants for the arrest of the President of Sudan, Omar Hassan Ahmad Al Bashir for war crimes and crimes against humanity as well as for being a criminally responsible suspect and an indirect co-perpetrator. As of end-CY2016, President Bashir remained at large, traveling with impunity to countries that do not recognize the jurisdiction of the ICC with regard to its warrants against Bashir.

Despite the best efforts of special envoys and others, the CPA is believed to have failed in its over-arching goals of reconciliation between the north and south and national unity. The following CPA objectives also failed by the time it expired in 07/11:
- Setting aside 30% of the Sudanese civil service for southerners;
- Introduction legislation to reform land ownership;
- Settlement of boundary disputes along the oil-rich Abyei region;
- Demobilization of soldiers and termination of support for proxy militias;
- Investment in chronically impoverished rural areas for roads, schools, hospitals and other infrastructure;
- Involvement of international community with regard to CPA implementation.

Faced with the above failures, there was no accountability by the Khartoum Government led by fugitive President Bashir who, it seems, simply disregarded President Obama's overtures as well as the terms of the CPA.

This promise was not fulfilled.
The Promise: "...In order to increase the incomes of subsistence producers, decrease the pressure on shrinking arable lands, and minimize the vulnerability of commodity exports to global price shocks, an Obama administration will launch the AVTA Initiative..."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Strengthening Our Common Security by Investing in Our Common Humanity," dated 09/11/08.
Status:The intent of this Add Value to Agriculture (AVTA) Initiative promise was to spur research and innovation aimed at bringing about a Green Revolution in Africa by partnering with land grant institutions, private philanthropies and business to support agricultural processing through increased investment in research and development for improved seeds, irrigation methods, and affordable and safe fertilizers. The initiative would also address food security issues in order to alleviate high food costs.

Under President Obama, according to public domain Congressional Research Service Report R41072, appropriations for all international food aid programs was as follow:
FY2009....$2.642B (Last Bush era appropriation)

Although President Obama continued previous Administration programs to alleviate global hunger, programs that have existed since the Eisenhower Administration (1954), he very specifically promised to establish AVTA. As of the end of his second term in office, he had not established a specific AVTA Initiative.

This promise was not fulfilled.
The Promise: "...will launch the Global Energy and Environment Initiative to ensure African countries have access to low carbon energy technology and can profitably participate in the new global carbon market so as to ensure solid economic development even while the world dramatically reduces its greenhouse gas emissions."
When/Where: Plan for America: "Blueprint for Change," dated 10/09/08
Source: Obama and Biden's documents/550007-barack-obama-2008-blueprint-for-change.html
Status:As of end-CY2016 the Obama Administration had not launched an Africa-focused Global Energy and Environment Initiative (GEEI).

Educational institutions such as Johns Hopkins University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have their own energy and environment programs that could have served as launching pads for the promised program. However, President Obama promised that his Administration would launch a GEEI specifically focused on the sharing of energy technology in support of economic development with certain African countries.

Also problematic in this promise is Obama's statement that the world is reducing its greenhouse gas emissions. While this is true for many countries, more than half of the estimated 7B tons of coal burned annually is burned in China alone. To meet its increasing demands during the Obama Administration and contributing to sustained greenhouse gas emissions, China stepped up its annual importation of more than 150M tons of coal from the USA (mainly from Wyoming and Montana) and Australia.

This promise was not fulfilled.
The Promise: "...will also strengthen the African Growth and Opportunity Act to ensure that African producers can access the U.S. market and will encourage more American companies to invest on the continent."
When/Where: Plan for America: "Blueprint for Change," dated 10/09/08
Source: Obama and Biden's documents/550007-barack-obama-2008-blueprint-for-change.html
Status:The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) was signed into law (P.L. 106-200) by President Clinton on 05/18/00.

To strengthen this Act, "AGOA II" and "AGOA III" were signed by President Bush in CY2002 and CY2004 respectively. On 12/20/06, President Bush also signed the Africa Investment Incentive Act further amending portions of the AGOA and is known as "AGOA IV."

President Obama signed into law an amendment to the AGOA on 08/10/12 (H.R. 5986). This amendment extended through FY2015 the duty-free treatment of the products of beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries.

With its original 15-year period of validity expiring in CY2015, the AGOA was extended by President Obama on 06/29/15 for an additional 10 years through CY2025 under the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015 (S. 1267). Amendments and additional clauses pertinent to the AGOA and included in this law served to strengthen it.

This promise was fulfilled.
The Promise: "...will use all diplomatic means at his disposal to achieve change in China's manipulation of the value of its currency, a practice that contributes to massive global imbalances and provides Chinese companies with an unfair competitive advantage."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Protecting U.S. Interests and Advancing American Values in our Relationship with China" dated 09/11/08.
Status:At the start of the Obama Administration, American manufacturers considered the Chinese yuan (also called the "renminbi") to be undervalued by about 40%, contributing to the USA's massive trade deficit with China and the loss of millions of American jobs.

On 07/08/10, the Obama Administration announced that it would not make an issue of China's apparent currency manipulation to gain an unfair trade imbalance. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao stated on 09/22/10 that the exchange rate of the yuan was not the "main cause" of the bilateral trade imbalance (which was valued at about $350B) by end-CY2016 and that the U.S. trade deficit with China was not intentional.

President Obama tried to get leading economic powers to follow his plan to end global trade imbalances during the 11/10 G-20 Summit in Korea. He was soundly rebuffed. President Obama's sour reaction was to refer to the yuan issue as an "irritant."

No progress was made during President Hu's 01/11 visit to the USA to change China's manipulation of its currency. It must be recognized, however, that the yaun's value against the U.S. dollar was 6.84 at the start of the Obama Administration and 6.94 yuan to the dollar at the end of CY2016. This is viewed in the context of the yuan's record low value of 1.53 in 01/81 and a record high of 8.73 on 01/94.

During the 11/12-13/11 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) conference in Hawaii, President Obama used strong language to press China to reform the U.S. belief that China's currency was being kept artificially low, thereby keeping American businesses at a disadvantage and driving up China's trade surpluses. As in the past, China pushed back against this pressure with Chinese President Hu Jintau telling President Obama that "China's foreign exchange policy is a responsible one," and that China will "continue reforming its exchange rate mechanism." Translation: the Chinese would not reform the perceived manipulation of their currency.

On 12/28/11, the Obama Administration decided not to designate China as a currency manipulator, thereby avoiding a potential trade war rooted in low export prices against high import costs. Since then, research indicates that China has endeavored to raise the value of the yuan whenever it fell rather than further lowering that value.

This promise was not fulfilled.
The Promise: "...will insist that our imports from China and other countries be safe."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Protecting U.S. Interests and Advancing American Values in our Relationship with China" dated 09/11/08.
Status:During the first term of the Obama Administration, concerns prevailed over the safety of Chinese products. These concerns ranged from much-publicized corrosive effects of Chinese-manufactured drywall with hydrogen sulfide content (affecting more than 20K homes), to lead content in children's toys, to defective tires.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and China's General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) back in CY2004. Its provisions were generally ignored by China largely due to the absence of cooperation and reciprocal inspections.

The CPSC signed another MOU in 04/10, but this one was with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) organization, following an increase in civil penalties from $8K to $100K for each violation of the Consumer Product Safety Improvements Act of 2008 and from $1.8M to $15M for repeated violations. This 04/10 MOU mandated the allocation of increased CBP resources to inspect and prevent noncompliant products from entering the USA. The new rules apply to all imports -- not only those from China.

China objected to the 04/10 MOU between the CPSC and CBP, and cited it as an example of American protectionism, further exacerbating an already strained bilateral trade relationship. With other pressing issues at hand such as economic relations, China's military buildup, North Korea's nuclear capabilities buildup and its provocative actions in the region, this import concern was not brought up during Chinese President Hu Jintao's visit to the USA in 01/11.

During President Obama's tenure in office, China continued to put our military men and women at risk by delivering counterfeit parts for such critical military warfighting systems as the F-15 fighter, Maverick missile, V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft and some of the U.S. Navy's submarines. While the extent of parts counterfeiting cannot be quantified exactly, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has acknowledged that it is taking place.

The Obama Administration has fell far short of ensuring that militarily significant parts obtained from China met the standards necessary to ensure the safety of military personnel.

This promise was not fulfilled.
The Promise: "From Tibet to cracking down on democracy and religious freedom activists, China has failed to live up to international standards of human rights. Barack Obama and Joe Biden...will press them to respect human rights."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Protecting U.S. Interests and Advancing American Values in our Relationship with China" dated 09/11/08.
Status:The Communist Chinese government acknowledges that its form of government is a "socialist democracy" under which public debate on certain issues is permitted, so long as the Communist Party's leadership is not challenged. However, that Party continued to disregard basic human rights, including religious freedom, during President Obama's two terms in office.

Secretary of State Clinton, during her first trip to China on 02/09, appeared to push human rights concerns to a low priority by stating that human rights issues "can't interfere with the global economic crisis, the global climate change crisis, and the security crisis."

Meanwhile, those who spoke out against the Communist Party continued to be persecuted, critical internet postings were viewed as subversive, web sites were and continue to be routinely shut down, and their authors hunted down and jailed.

The U.S.-China "Human Rights Dialogue," a forum that permits direct engagement with China on U.S. concerns over specific human rights issues, resumed in mid-CY2010. One of issues discussed was the continued incarceration, at that time, of Dr. Xue Feng, a U.S. citizen, serving an 8-year sentence and $30,000 fine for allegedly revealing state secrets when he published information about China's oil fields in CY2007, in other words, for espionage. In 04/15, after serving nearly the full 8 years in a Chinese prison, Dr. Xue was released and immediately deported to the USA.

By hosting Chinese President Hu Jintau on 01/19/11, President Obama became the first U.S. President to host a head of state whose country continued to imprison a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, democracy advocate and writer Liu Xiaobo (who has since died of liver cancer) who was serving an 11-year prison term for "suspicion of inciting subversion of state power." During the visit, President Hu first tried to deflect a direct question regarding China's poor human rights record. When pressed to answer the question, President Hu simply stated that "a lot still needs to be done in China in terms of human rights." It's interesting that this comment was censored from the press briefing version aired in China.

In a joint statement released on 01/19/11, the U.S. and China addressed their differences on human rights in a "spirit of equality and mutual respect." Translation: no progress. Shortly thereafter on 04/02/11, one of China's best-known and sometimes provocative contemporary artists, Ai Weiwei, was arrested. He was released nearly three months later, after considerable international pressure, but only after signing a confession of having "committed crimes against the state."

Hundreds of Chinese activists and intellectuals were detained or simply disappeared in China's efforts to thwart the possibility of a popular uprising such as the "Arab Spring" uprisings in Egypt, Tunisia, Bahrain, Syria, Libya and other Middle East countries during the first half of CY2011.

The 19th U.S.-China "Human Rights Dialogue" took place in mid-08/15. The State Department acknowledged in its briefing to Congress following this conference that "...we discussed the Chinese Government's crackdown on lawyers, which has resulted in over 250 attorneys, activists, and their family members being detained, questioned, interrogated, or held incommunicado...many are still in custody, many reportedly have been denied access to defense counsel. Some have been forced to make televised confessions...that run contrary to China's own criminal procedure law."

Another example: the State Department's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor painted an extremely bleak human rights picture for Tibet in its "2016 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices," released in 03/17. The abuses portrayed therein are no different and in some cases worse than during the pre-Obama era.

The bottom line: the Obama Administration failed to improve China's human rights record, with the latter maintaining the status quo ante.

This promise was not fulfilled.
The Promise: "...will press China to end its support for regimes in Sudan, Burma, Iran and Zimbabwe."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Protecting U.S. Interests and Advancing American Values in our Relationship with China" dated 09/11/08.
Status:Iran: While China provided support for U.S.-led United Nations watered-down sanctions against Iran's nuclear energy program in 06/10, China remained Iran's largest oil customer. However, China was extremely vocal about its opposition to U.S. unilateral sanctions against Iran. As Japanese and Western investments dried up in Iran, China increased its own investments, thereby maintaining its support of Iran's regime. In CY2014, trade between China and Iran was estimated to be $52B, as China depends on Iran for nearly 15% of its oil requirement. In 01/16 during a visit to Iran by President Xi Jinping, the two countries agreed to increase bilateral trade to $600B over the ensuing decade. Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei praised China for standing by Iran during its many years of economic isolation imposed by United Nations, U.S. and European Union sanctions due to Iran's nuclear proliferation activities.

Burma (now Myanmar): In 03/10, China defended the Burmese regime's controversial election laws at the UN Security Council by taking the position that any transition to democracy is an internal affair. A year later the first democratically elected President of Myanmar (Thein Sein) visited China during which China reaffirmed its "respect for Myanmar's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity." Nonetheless, as of end-CY2016, Myanmar continued to be concerned about Chinese influence due to China's size, power, and proximity, as well as the way China's economic development projects have been carried out without due consideration for the well-being of Myanmar's population and ecology.

Zimbabwe: Through end-CY2016, China continued to be Zimbabwe's largest investor (by some accounts providing 74% of Zimbabwe's foreign direct investment), while exploiting the country's natural resources to develop its own economy. This was greatly facilitated by Zimbabwe's "Look East Policy" established in CY2000 by President Mugabe. On 09/11/11, Mugabe stated: "The imperialist countries of Britan, Europe and the U.S. have continued to undermine our country...we are grateful to the stance China has always taken in defending our sovereignty." As of end-CY2016, China remained as a key supplier of military hardware to Zimbabwe. Recent major sales included a radar system, jet trainers and fighters, military vehicles and AK-47 assault rifles and ammunition.

Sudan: China imports about 80% of Sudan's oil, and continues to deliver weapons, ammunition, tanks, helicopters, fighter aircraft etc. to the Sudanese regime in Khartoum. During the 01/11 visit of Chinese President Hu Jintao to the USA, China agreed to fully support Sudan's Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). For China, this ensured uninterrupted acquisition of oil from the oil-rich South after the South became an independent country in 07/11, while continuing to arm the Khartoum regime. At the same time, China continued to favor the Khartoum regime of President Omar Al-Bashir by adopting a "look the other way" non-interference policy in Darfur where, according to UN reports, more than 300K people were killed and nearly 3M people were displaced. During President Hu's 01/11 visit to the USA, he only acknowledged that progress should be made in the political process to resolve the Darfur issue. Meanwhile, China agreed on 07/08/13 to finance the construction of a new $700M Khartoum International Airport.

With the exception of Myanmar where new-found democracy came about outside of Chinese influence and where Chinese support of a repressive regime was no longer an issue, Chinese support of the regimes in Iran, Zimbabwe and Sudan as of end-CY2016 was either at the same level or at a higher level than when President Obama assumed the presidency in CY2009.

This promise was not fulfilled.
The Promise: "...will vigorously enforce our trade laws and trade agreements to ensure that American companies have a fair opportunity to compete..."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Protecting U.S. Interests and Advancing American Values in our Relationship with China" dated 09/11/08.
Status:From the start of his Administration, President Obama made enforcement of U.S. trade rights a top priority. To that end, between CY2009 and CY2016, the U.S. filed 25 trade enforcement actions with the World Trade Organization (WTO). The U.S. won every one of its challenge that were decided by the WTO by end-CY2016, including seven against China alone. Export figures confirm that these enforcement victories are worth billions of dollars for American farmers and ranchers; manufacturers of high-tech steel, aircraft and automobiles; solar energy manufacturers; cutting edge service providers, and many others.

Among the successes, the Obama Administration, through its U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), the Department of Commerce, Customs and Border Patrol, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) took positive action against China on the following:

- Discriminatory aircraft tax exemptions;
- Excessive government support to the Chinese agricultural sector;
- Raw materials (rare earth) quotas/restrictions;
- Unlevel playing field affective seven export sectors such as agriculture, textiles, and medical products;
- Excessive duties on American poultry, high-tech steel, American automobiles and SUVs; and
- Enforcement of anti-dumping/countervailing duty orders pertaining to non-oriented electrical steel, corrosion-resistant steel, cold-rolled steel, and cut-to-length plate.

Further, President Obama was proactive in discussing trade imbalance issues with President Xi Jinping whenever they met. This led to President Xi's commitments to address these issues.

This promise was fulfilled.
The Promise: "will vigorously...counteract piracy of intellectual property."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Protecting U.S. Interests and Advancing American Values in our Relationship with China" dated 09/11/08.
Status:U.S. manufacturers have validated their claims that China routinely counterfeits U.S. goods, offering these goods on the U.S. and world markets at cut-rate prices, thereby furthering China's goals to hold the USA at a competitive export disadvantage and feeding the estimated $346B+ trade imbalance as of end-CY2016.

The U.S. position on mitigating cyber crimes and theft of Intellectual Property (IP) during the Obama Administration was weak at best. In fact, an early CY2017 report published on behalf of The Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property by The National Bureau of Asian Research states that "The commissioners were discouraged by the Obama administration's inaction on IP theft and cyber-espionage...Although the president took steps to bring his emergency economic powers to bear on cyber-enabled IP theft, the Obama Administration failed to bring any cases against the perpetrators of cyber crime or IP theft" during his two terms in office.

This promise was not fulfilled.
Consular AffairsGrade
The Promise: "...will streamline the visa process to return America to its rightful place as the world's top destination for artists and art students."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Champions for Arts and Culture", dated 09/11/08.
Status:Since 09/11/01, artists and art organizations faced considerable red tape and bureaucratic delays when applying for O-1A (individuals with an extraordinary ability in the sciences, education, business, or athletics), O-1B (individuals with an extraordinary ability in the arts or extraordinary achievement in motion picture or television industry) or O-2 (an individual who will accompany an O-1 visa applicant who has critical skills and experience with the O-1 visa applicant that cannot be readily performed by a U.S. worker and which are essential to the successful performance of the O-1 visa applicant), and P-1B (Member of Internationally Recognized Entertainment Group) non-immigrant visas to enter the USA to perform.

As of end-CY2016, artists filing State's I-129 Form (Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker) had to allow 5.5 months for their applications to be processed. Dependent upon individual applicant circumstances, the processing time could be longer or shorter.

The processing times typically required since the terrorist attacks of 09/11/01 are as follows:
- O-1A, O-1B and O-2: 60 to 90 days
- P-1B: 2 to 5 months
The above processing times could be longer or shorter, depending upon applicant circumstances and application completeness. To mitigate this issue, the Homeland Security U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) announced on 07/23/10 that artist/art student visa applications filed by "creative organizations" could be adjudicated within 15 calendar days upon payment of a premium processing fee (currently $1,225.00).

As of end-CY2016, the USCIS web site reflected 60-90 days as the norm for processing "O" (Extraordinary Ability) visas.and 3-6 months for "P" (Athletes, Artists and Entertainers) visas. These processing times can be reduced to 15 days upon payment of a hefty ($1,000+) surcharge.

This promise was fulfilled.
The Promise: "...will stop shuttering consulates and start opening them in the tough and hopeless corners of the world - particularly in Africa."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan for America: "Blueprint for Change" dated 10/09/08.
Status:Since President Obama came into office in 01/09, the following are examples of consulates that have either been opened, reopened or were planned under the State Department's Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO):

Afghanistan: Herat, Kandahar and Jalalabad
China: Guangzhou
India: Hyderabad
Iraq: Basra and Erbil
Kazakhstan: Almaty (Upgrade from Embassy Branch Office to Consulate)
Egypt: Alexandria
Mexico: Monterrey and Tijuana
Equatorial Guinea: Malabo
Morocco: Casablanca
Saudi Arabia: Dhahran

With the exception of Afghanistan, where security concerns caused the cancellation of plans to open a Consulate in Mazar-e-Sharif in CY2012, and Iraq where security is sometimes tenuous, none of the other sites are considered "tough and hopeless," -- not even the two African sites.

On the "shuttering" side, the State Department closed the U.S. Embassy and consular activities in Syria on 02/06/12 as the regime of President Bashar al-Assad intensified its efforts to crush internal dissidence.

This promise was not fulfilled.
The Promise: "...will insist that the rights of the Serb community in Kosovo and the security of Serbian religious sites be vigilantly protected and will work to encourage Serbia to seek its future in a stable and prosperous West."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "A Stronger Partnership with Europe for a Safer America" dated 10/14/08.
Status:According to UN Security Council Resolution 1244, Serbia has the right to place up to 1,000 personnel at the most important religious and historical sites in Kosovo. The Kosovan Minister of the Interior, Bajram Regjepi, rejected this engagement of Serbian personnel.

The NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR) announced in 08/10 that it would hand over the responsibility for protection of most Serbian monasteries and churches in Kosovo and Metohija to the largely ethnic-Albanian Kosovo police. The announcement was immediately condemned by the Serbian Orthodox Church. As of end-CY2016, KFOR was still protecting major Serbian Orthodox Church sites and a few monasteries such as the 14th Century Serbian Orthodox Visoki Decani Monastery near Decani, Kosovo.

U.S. silence on the control of security of Serbian religious/historical sites by the mostly ethnic-Albanian Kosovo police, despite the provisions of UN Resolution 1244, is a situation that served to inhibit the prospects for true peace and security in that region for the foreseeable future.

Following a visit to Serbia by Vice President Biden in 05/09, the U.S. committed to provide Serbia with an annual $50M aid package to support reforms needed for Serbia's integration in the European Union (EU) and other global institutions. In this area, there was support forthcoming from the USA for Serbia as it seeks a "future in a stable and prosperous West."

The U.S. foreign aid package to Serbia, across all agencies (which saw a high of $99M in CY2001), was provided as follows during the Obama Administration:
FY2010 - $43M
FY2011 - $61M
FY2012 - $32M
FY2013 - $35M
FY2014 - $36M
FY2015 - $28M
FY2016 - $33M

The need to maintain a KFOR security presence in Serbia and the provision of aid below the promised $50M per year during most of President Obama's two terms in office are indicative of the slow progress Serbia is making toward achieving true peace and security. As of end-CY2016, Serbia remained as a candidate for membership in the European Union, a process started in CY1998.

This promise was fulfilled.
The Promise: "...will show U.S. leadership in seeking to negotiate a political settlement on Cyprus...believes strongly that Cyprus should remain a single, sovereign country in which each of the two communities on the island is able to exercise substantial political authority within a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "A Stronger Partnership with Europe for a Safer America" dated 10/14/08.
Status:The so-called Cypriot issue or conflict is an ongoing dispute between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots since the CY1974 Turkish military invasion and occupation of the northern third of Cyprus. Historically, relations between the USA and Cyprus have been considered good-to-excellent and the USA routinely uses Cypriot military bases, ports and airports such as the Port of Limassol and the Larnaca International Airport to support its humanitarian and support activities in the Middle East.

As of end-CY2010, the Obama Administration, according to the U.S. Embassy Nicosia web site, still viewed the status quo on Cyprus as unacceptable, but preferred that United Nations inter-communal negotiations lead the way to achieve a fair and permanent settlement between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities.

In FY2005, the USA provided approximately $36M in foreign aid to Cyprus (across all agencies) to reduce tensions and promote peace and cooperation between the two communities, and creating conditions conducive to resolution of the long-standing Cyprus conflict by reuniting the island.

A few years later under President Obama, foreign aid to Cyprus took a big hit as depicted below:
FY2010 - $15.0M
FY2011 - $9.0M
FY2012 - $1.2M
FY2013 - $4.8M
FY2014 - $880K
FY2015 - $420K
FY2016 - $303K

The Obama Administration did not show any "U.S. leadership" needed to resolve the Cypriot issue. Rather, Turkey was recognized by the Obama Administration as a key ally in the Middle East, an ally that continually progressed toward closer relationships with Iran, Russia and other Middle Eastern states not considered allies of the USA, to the detriment of any resolution of the Cyprus partition situation.

Frustration on the lack of U.S. leadership for a political settlement on Cyprus was articulated by the President of the "Justice of Cyprus" International Coordinating Committe, Philip Christopher, on 06/04/12 in Washington, D.C. when he stated: "We are very disappointed with the administration. It has basically maintained the status quo...they have offered the same rhetoric." That status quo was maintained through end-CY2016.

This promise was not fulfilled.
The Promise: "They [Obama and Biden] recognize that the historic political achievements of 2007 must be followed by economic development that benefits all of the people of Northern Ireland...will work closely with the Irish Taoiseach, the British Prime Minister, and the Northern Ireland Executive to continue on this path of peace and prosperity."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "A Stronger Partnership with Europe for a Safer America" dated 10/14/08.
Status:The first step in fulfilling this promise was the appointment of the U.S. Special Economic Envoy to Northern Ireland, businessman Declan Kelly, in 09/09. This position had remained vacant during the preceding Bush Administration. Mr. Kelly resigned in 05/11 and was replaced by former Senator Gary Hart in 10/14. Mr. Hart served as Special Economic Envoy to Northern Ireland until the end of the Obama Administration in 01/17.

The Special Envoy's mission was to work with the Northern Ireland Government and private sectors in fostering new opportunities for trade and investment. Relations between the Obama Administration and the Taoiseach (Irish head of government/prime minister) and President have been cooperative.

The Obama Administration has also been supportive of the International Fund for Ireland (IFI), established in CY1986 with the USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and the European Union as contributors. This fund provides grants and loans to businesses to improve their economy, redress inequalities of employment opportunity, and improve cross-border business and community ties.

The U.S. contribution to the IFI in FY2010 was $17M, up from $15M in FY2009. For FY2011, $18M was appropriated under the Continuing Appropriations Act (H.R. 3081) but this funding was eliminated under Public Law 112-6 on 03/18/11. Instead, the IFI received $2.5M from the FY2011 Economic Support Fund in the form of a grant. Subsequent year funding for the IFI was as follows:
FY2012 - $5M
FY2013 - $0
FY2014 - $2.1M
FY2015 - $1.25M
FY2016 - $750K

This promise was fulfilled.
Export ControlsGrade
The Promise: "...will direct a review of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) to reevaluate restrictions imposed on American companies, with a special focus on space hardware that is currently restricted from commercial export."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Advancing the Frontiers of Space Exploration" dated 08/15/08.
Status:Since CY1999, the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) have imposed severe export controls not only on the USA's defense/weapons systems, but on communications satellites and virtually all spacecraft and space hardware, software and related materials. These restrictions came about after two U.S. satellite manufacturers were found to have aided China missile development efforts by advising he Chinese on the causes of U.S. missile launch failure. These restrictions were viewed by some as a declaration of economic and technological war by the U.S. Government against U.S. businesses and national interests.

On 08/14/09, President Obama announced his decision to undertake a comprehensive review of U.S. export controls, referred to as the Export Control Reform (ECR) Initiative. This Initiative was to be accomplished in three phases:

Phases 1 and 2 - reconcile various definitions, regulations, and policies for export controls

Phase 3 - create a single export control list, a single licensing agency, a single enforcement coordination agency, and a unified information technology system.

In response to this challenge, the Department of Defense, in cooperation with the Departments of State, Commerce, Homeland Security, the Director of National Intelligence and National Security Agency devised a blueprint for implementing the President's direction with the understanding that some of the above changes could be implemented via Executive Order, while others would require Congressional notification/action.

On 03/11/11, the Department of State Directorate of Defense Trade Controls published a new proposed rule that establishes conditions under which an ITAR license would not be required for the export of a defense article incorporated into an end-item that is subject to export controls under the Department of Commerce's Export Administration Regulations (EAR).

On 07/12/11, the Department of Commerce Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) published a proposed rule for the transfer of items on the U.S. Munitions List (USML) that the President determines no longer warrant control under the Arms Export Control Act (AECA) to the Commerce Control List (CCL) once Congressional notification requirements are met.

In 04/12, the Department of Defense issued its report recommending that some U.S.-built satellites and components be transferred from the USML to the CCL.

On 05/22/12, Senator Michael Bennett (D-CO) introduced the "Safeguarding United States Leadership and Security Act of 2012" (S. 3211) which would give the President the authority to transfer certain satellites and their components from the USML to the less restrictive CCL. While this bill did not advance through Congress, its provisions were included in the House version of the FY2013 National Defense Authorization Act.

On 11/10/14,some satellites, spacecraft, and components were moved from the USML (ITAR control) to CCL (EAR control):
- Communications satellites that do not contain classified components or capability;
- Remote sensing satellites with performance parameters below certain thresholds; and
- Systems, subsystems parts, and components associated with these satellites and with performance parameters below a certain threshold.

This promise was fulfilled.
The Promise: "...will also direct revisions to the licensing process to ensure that American suppliers are competitive in the international aerospace markets, without jeopardizing American national security."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Advancing the Frontiers of Space Exploration" dated 08/15/08.
Status:As of end-CY2016, the processing time for export licenses was about 45 days, and about 95% of applications were approved. Viewed against 21st Century technological advances, 45 days is an eternity for U.S. companies trying to satisfy their international customers.

In 08/09, President Obama directed a top-to-bottom review of the nation's export control system. A major component of this review involved licensing procedures.

In 04/10, an Interagency Task Force reported its findings and concluded that a single licensing agency should be formed (State, Commerce and Defense currently have licensing responsibilities that often do not complement one another) and that licencing reform should ensue in three phases:

Phase 1: Implement regulatory-based improvements to streamline licensing processes and standardize policy and processes to increase efficiencies.

Phase 2: Complete transition to mirrored control list system and fully implement licensing harmonization to allow export authorizations within each control tier to achieve a significant license requirement reduction which is compatible with national security equities.

Phase 3: Implement a single licensing agency.

Also in 04/10, Defense Secretary Gates announced a "4 Singles" approach to export licensing reform. The basic tenets of the "4 Singles" initiative:
(1) a more predictable, efficient and transparent technology control regime that will create a single control list,
(2) a single primary enforcement coordination agency,
(3) a single information technology system, and
(4) a single licensing agency.

Years later, the Obama Administration and Congress were still working to develop and codify the "4 Singles," whereas a simple amendment to Executive Order 11958, Administration of Arms Export Controls, could have accomplished this objective.

By creating a single licensing agency as proposed by Secretary Gates, conflicting State, Defense and Commerce regulations could be eliminated and the licensing process simplified.

As of end-CY2016, the arms export licensing process had not been significantly improved.

This promise was not fulfilled.
Foreign Affairs/DiplomacyGrade
The Promise: "Increase the size of the foreign service."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan "Strengthening Our Common Security by Investing in Our Common Humanity," dated 09/11/08.
Status:In CY2009, the State Department launched a four-year plan known as "Diplomacy 3.0" to increase its foreign service officer strength by 25% by end-FY2018. Fiscal realities suggested that this goal might not be met until FY2023. According to General Accountability Office (GAO) Report 12-721 entitled "Foreign Service Workforce Gaps" dated 06/14/12, the State Department faced "experience gaps in 28 percent of overseas Foreign Service positions...14 percent are vacant...14 percent are filled through upstretch assignments" (where the incumbent has not attained the grade of the position he or she fills).

The same GAO report indicated that the State Department had failed to develop a strategic plan to exercise the authority it had to address Foreign Service mid-level personnel gaps, relying instead on its practice of employing Foreign Service retirees on a "When Actually Employed (WAE) basis and converting a few of its 10,569 (a CY2011 figure) Civil Service personnel to Foreign Service positions.

Mid-level personnel gaps were expected to continue for the foreseeable future due to fiscal realities coupled with personnel attrition attributed to the graying of the employees, the mandatory retirement age for Foreign Service personnel (65), and the built-in Reduction in Force (RIF) in the Foreign Service with its "up or out" system.

According to the State Department Bureau of Human Resources, and in spite of the above GAO report, during President Obama's two terms in office, and with the exception of slight dips in CY2013 and CY2015, the Foreign Service grew as follows to support 275 posts abroad as of end-CY2016:
CY2009 - 7,070 Officers/5,189 Specialists = 12,268
CY2010 - 7,458 Officers/5,401 Specialists = 12,859
CY2011 - 7,775 Officers/5,657 Specialists = 13,432
CY2012 - 7,940 Officers/5,736 Specialists = 13,676
CY2013 - 7,915 Officers/5,752 Specialists = 13,667
CY2014 - 8,042 Officers/5,759 Specialists = 13,801
CY2015 - 8,026 Officers/5,734 Specialists = 13,760
CY2016 - 8,106 Officers/5,740 Specialists = 13,846

Without specifying numerical goals, President Obama promised to increase the size of the foreign service and has done so.

This promise was fulfilled.
The Promise: "Unfortunately, our resources for cultural diplomacy are at their lowest level in a decade. Barack Obama and Joe Biden will work to reverse this trend and improve and expand public-private partnerships to expand cultural and arts exchanges throughout the world."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Champions for Arts and Culture" dated 09/11/08.
Status:Funding for State's Educational and Cultural Exchange (ECE) program for FY2008 was $501M and $538M for FY2009.

The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2010, signed into law by President Obama on 12/16/09, provided $635M to the Department of State for its an increase of $97M over the FY2009 appropriation, to "fund educational, cultural and professional exchange programs worldwide to foster mutual understanding between the United States and more than 160 other nations."

For FY2011, the State Department requested $635M to sustain ECE programs but received $599M. For FY2012, State's requirement was $637.1M but received $598.8M. Subsequent FY appropriations for ECE were as follows:

From the very beginning of his Administration, President Obama fulfilled this promise to improve/expand ECE activities based on increased funding when weighed against the FY2008/FY2009 funding levels.

This promise was fulfilled.
The Promise: "...will pursue direct diplomacy with all nations, friend and foe. He will do the careful preparation necessary, but will signal that America is ready to come to the table, and that he is willing to lead."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan for America: "Blueprint for Change" dated 10/09/08.
Status:While relations with most of America's friends were maintained during the Obama Administration, some cooled (i.e. United Kingdom, France, Germany), while others became severely strained (i.e. Russia, Israel, Afghanistan).

China continued to deeply distrust the USA over its continued relationship with and support of Taiwan. On the other hand, Taiwan's continuing need for 66 new F-16C/D fighter aircraft and upgrades for its aging fleet of F-16/A/B aircraft were repeatedly blocked during the first three years of the Obama Administration, gaining traction only in 04/12 when the Administration reversed its position and declared that it would give "serious consideration" to an F-16C/D sale. To that end, the House approved the "National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013" (H.R. 4310) which included Section 1240 that reads: "The President shall carry out the sale of no fewer than 66 F-16C/D multirole fighter aircraft to Taiwan." This potential sale was rejected by China and was one of the root causes for continued strained relationships between the USA and China.

China also saw the USA as encircling Chinese assertive expansion efforts in Southeast Asia by establishing new transpacific relationships with Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia and others that were viewed as running against China's free trade objectives with Association of Southeastern Asian Nation (ASEAN) member countries.

There was no known demarche or meaningful pursuit of improved, highest level diplomatic relations between the Obama Administration and countries the USA considers its foes (i.e. Venezuela, Iran, Syria, North Korea).

The collapse of climate negotiations in Copenhagan was considered a serious defeat for the Obama Administration. His brokering of a separate deal with the Chinese left his European allies stymied by what was referred to in European media as President Obama's "pomposity and arrogance."

President Obama's failure to show up at the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall in 11/09 further infuriated his British, French and German counterparts. These relationships slowly mended during President Obama's visit to London in 05/11 and his hosting of German Chancellor Merkel in the first state visit he accorded to a European leader, 2 1/2 years into his first term in office.

In 11/10, he failed again to deal effectively with China on the issue of the latter's currency manipulation.

In 05/12, the new Russian President Vladimir Putin elected not to attend the Group of Eight (G8) Summit at Camp David, Maryland for the first time since Russia became the 8th member of this forum in CY1997. Russia sent its Prime Minister instead, a move that was interpreted by international observers as a sign of the high level of tension that existed between the U.S. and Russian presidencies. This strained bilateral relationship got worse as a result of the mid-09/12 closure of USAID activities in Russia because of funding provided by USAID to "Golos," a group that reported on widespread fraud during recent parliamentary and presidential elections that, in part, returned Putin to presidential power.

In 08/12, President Obama declared that the use of chemical weapons by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad would cross a "red line for us" and might trigger a U.S. military response. On 08/21/13, Bashar fired rockets loaded with outlawed toxins against his people near Damascus, killing nearly 1,500 civilians, including at least 426 children. Obama did nothing.

In 09/12, President Obama decided not to meet with any foreign leaders during the annual United Nations General Assembly, further straining relationships with traditional allies, especially Israel. Instead, his priority was to hit the campaign trail to secure a second term in office.

In 08/13, President Obama cancelled a planned summit with Russia's President Putin, indicating that Obama's "reset" of bilateral relations announced during his first term had failed.

In 02/14, Russian President Vladimir Putin invaded and seized Crimea. Obama did nothing.

These are a few examples where President Obama's lack of diplomatic leadership skills were perceived negatively and as a sign a weakness by the international community. For the remainder of his second term through end-CY2016, the USA was generally viewed internationally as militarily strong, but strategically, diplomatically and geo-politically impotent, feckless, untrustworthy, and lacking integrity.

This promise was not fulfilled.
Foreign AidGrade
The Promise: "Double U.S. spending on foreign aid to $50 Billion a year by 2012"
When/Where: Obama's Plan: "The War We Need To Win" dated 07/31/07.
Status:For FY2009, the last Bush Presidency budget cycle, foreign assistance amounted to about $53.9B for all entities involved in foreign assistance/aid (i.e. DOD, Overseas Contingency Operations etc.), not counting supplementals such as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) signed into law by President Obama in 02/09 and other agency-specific supplementary funding per year. Since the $50B goal had already been met prior to President Obama assuming office, the cited $53.9B was the funding amount for foreign assistance/aid to be "doubled," if that's what he meant.

Subsequent funding under the Obama Administration was as follows

This promise was not fulfilled.
The Promise: "Barack Obama will double the Peace Corps to 16,000 by its 50th anniversary in 2011..."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Renewing U.S. Leadership in the Americas", dated 06/06/08.
Source: Source document was available online throughout the Obama Administration. It has since been deleted from all archival websites.
Status:In FY2009, total Peace Corps strength was 7,671 volunteers serving in 65 countries.

By end-CY2016, the Peace Corps had 7,376 personnel serving in 65 countries.

The promise was not fulfilled.
The Promise: "Use part of increased U.S. assistance to establish a $2 billion Global Education Fund to offer an alternative to extremist schools."
When/Where: Obama's Plan: "The War We Need To Win" dated 07/31/07.
Status:A Global Education Fund (GEF) has existed since CY1998. It originally focused on providing books and literacy tools to orphanages and learning centers in Latin America by CY2007 had expanded to 22 countries. Since 2007, GEF has focused on removing obstacles to education in three high-need countries: Kenya, India and Guatemala.

The purpose of President Obama's GEF would have been to finance schools that would counter the message of radical Islamist madrasas (schools for teaching Islamic theology and religious law) in Afghanistan, Pakistan and elsewhere. The State Department budget for FY2010 included $1B for this effort, $19M above the President's request and $300M above FY2009, to increase access to quality education and provide alternatives to madrasas.

In Pakistan alone in by end-CY2016, an estimated 1.9M Pakistani children attended madrasas, which have also proliferated in India, Afghanistan and other Middle East countries.

The logical entity to manage a GEF would have been the State Department's Office of Global Educational Programs. This didn't happen and a formal "Global Education Fund" was not established at the $2B level.

This promise was not fulfilled.
The Promise: "...more than four million Iraqis are refugees or are displaced inside their own country. Obama and Biden will form an international working group to address this crisis. They will provide at least $2 billion to expand services to Iraqi refugees in neighboring countries, and ensure that Iraqis inside their own country can find sanctuary."
When/Where: Plan for America: "Blueprint for Change," dated 10/09/08
Source: Obama and Biden's documents/550007-barack-obama-2008-blueprint-for-change.html
Status:The Department of State budget for FY2010 included $1.68B for Migration and Refugee Assistance (MRA), which was $197M above the President's request and $6.8M above the FY09 level. For FY2011, State's budget for MRA was $1.647B, an amount reduced to $1.600B in FY2012. The Emergency MRA (EMRA)account was funded at $27.2M in FY2012, down from $49.9M in FY2011.

On top of the above, International Organizations & Conferences (CIO) were funded at the $1.69B level, which was $100 million below the President's FY2010 request but $92.6M above the FY2009 enacted level. For FY2011, CIO funding was enacted at the reduced level of $1.311B but increased to $1.440B in FY2012.

The CIO account funds dues owed to 47 international organizations, including the United Nations, for which the U.S. is treaty-obligated. There is no evidence that a specific obligation of $2B was made by the Obama Administration to help resolve the unique Iraqi refugee issue, one which could perhaps best be addressed through the United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR).

One must keep in mind that MRA, EMRA and CIO funds are appropriated to address global issues, not solely Iraqi issues.

By end-CY2016, following prior year funding trends, the State Department's Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration was funded at the $2.8B level. Of this amount, $1.35B was earmarked for Near East countries, Iraq being just one of approximately 20 countries that constitute the Near East.

The formation of an "international working group" didn't happen. Neither did the dedication of $2B annually for Iraqi refugees.

This promise was not fulfilled.
The Promise: "...invest at least $50 billion by 2013 for the global fight against HIV/AIDS, including our fair share of the Global Fund."
When/Where: Plan for America: "Blueprint for Change," dated 10/09/08
Source: Obama and Biden's documents/550007-barack-obama-2008-blueprint-for-change.html
Status:The Global Fund is a partnership between governments, civil society, the private sector, and affected communities to prevent and treat not only HIV/AIDS, but also malaria and tuberculosis.

On 10/05/10, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Eric Goosby announced that the USA pledged $4B to the Global Fund -- for the multiyear period of FY2011-FY2013. Against this pledge, the Obama Administration committed $1.05B in FY2011, $1.3B in FY2012, and $1.56B in FY2013. The goal of $4B for the Global Fund by FY2013 was not met.

The FY10 appropriation for the Department of State to combat worldwide HIV/AIDS was enacted at $5.5B (including $350M for USAID HIV/AIDS programs).

For FY2011 and FY2012, the President's request and resultant appropriations for USAID HIV/AIDS programs was flat and unchanged at $350M. The President requested that this line item be reduced to $330M for FY2013.

The total FY2011 Global/International request for HIV/AIDS under the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS (PEPFAR) was $6.7B. The enacted amount was $5.5B.

For FY2012, PEPFAR funding was enacted at the $4.6B level and President Obama's request for FY2013 proposes to increase this amount to $7.6B, an amount that was reduced to $3.86B in light of sequestration related budget constraints.

During President Obama's first term in office, the promise of fully funding the Global Fund pledge ($4B) and meeting the $50B goal for HIV/AIDS mitigation was not met, given that the cumulative funding for the FY2010-FY2013 timeframe came in at less than $20B to combat HIV/AIDS.

This promise was not fulfilled.
The Promise: "The Civilian Assistance Corps [CAC]...would provide each federal agency a pool of volunteer experts willing to deploy in crises. They would be pre-trained and screened for deployment to supplement departments' expeditionary teams...would ensure that true experts carry out tasks such as restoring electricity or creating banking systems, rather than the current practice of expecting already over-burdened soldiers to assume these roles...will set a goal of creating a national CAC of 25,000 personnel."
When/Where: Obama Campaign Document "A 21st Century Military for America" dated 11/26/07.
Status:Based on a Congressional Research Service report entitled "Peacekeeping/Stabilization and Conflict Transitions: Background and Congressional Action on the Civilian Response/Reserve Corps and Other Civilian Stabilization and Reconstruction Capabilities" dated 01/12/12, Congress approved $50M for the creation of a Civilian Response Corps (CRC) under the President Bush era Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2008.

The Obama Administration further refined the organization of the CRC into three components as follows:
- Active Component (CRC-A) of 250 personnel
- Standby Component (CRC-S) of 2,000 personnel
- Reserve Component (CRC-R) of 2,000 personnel.

The CRC-R most closely resembled the Civilian Assistance Corps (CAC) then-Candidate Obama promised to establish. The intent of the CRC-R, to be manned by 2,000 volunteers from the public and private sectors, was to deploy experts within 60 days to areas of conflict or disaster.

Following receipt of an initial authorization of $50M from Congress for a CRC in FY2008, State requested CRC funding in the amount of $323M for FY2010 under the Civilian Stabilization Initiative (CSI). Congress turned down this request because neither the CRC-A nor CRC-S programs were considered to have been effectively established. President Obama did not seek funding for CRC-R in either FY2011 or FY2012.

As of end-CY2016, the envisioned 25,000-strong Civilian Assistance Corps (CAC), now referred to as CRC-R, had not been realized.

This promise was not fulfilled.
The Promise: "...will...develop the capacity of our civilian aid workers to work alongside the military."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan for America: "Blueprint for Change" dated 10/09/08.
Status:In theory, USAID's Office of Military Affairs Planning Division has a well-articulated mission to coordinate USAID civilian-military relationships with the Pentagon, the State Department and other organizations. USAID's participation in the development of the next iteration of the "Guidance for the Employment of the Force," (a strategic planning document used by Combatant Commanders (COCOMs)), its participation in COCOM regional/theater campaign planning, and its participation in DoD's Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) are all, on the surface, indicative that there exists good collaboration between USAID and the military.

In its first Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR) of CY2010, the State Department acknowledged the need for closer civilian/military working relationships as one of the pillars of an effective national security strategy. Several of State's strategic goals directly supported, on paper, this objective. The QDDR of CY2015 did not mention any civilian/military working relationship.

As of end-CY2016, the DoD remained as the country's most significant instrument in dealing with the world's most pressing needs. At the same time, the civilian-led foreign aid system during the Obama Administration was considered by some to be politically weak, largely dysfunctional, generally unable to deliver aid consistent with State's longer-term strategic vision/goals, and lacked international partner confidence.

To fully deliver on this promise, the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 needed to be rewritten. This particular legislative reform was not on President Obama's or Congress' agenda throughout the Obama Administration.

This promise was not fulfilled.
Foreign PolicyGrade
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.
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 Obama's speech was reportedly monitored by a majority of the worldwide Muslim and Arab community as broadcast by the Al Jazzera and Al Arabiya news networks.

This promise was fulfilled.
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-Biden Plan: "Renewing U.S. Leadership in the Americas", dated 06/06/08.
Source: Source document was available online throughout the Obama Administration. It has since been deleted from all archival websites.
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...".

This promise was fulfilled.
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.
Status:NED funding is usually under an appropriation provided by Congress to the Department of State largely 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 for 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 again requested a reduction to $104M.

Despite this early trend of trying to reduce NED funding, the Obama Administration regrouped and by FY2015, NED funding was increased to $148M and in FY2016 to $185M.

It's interesting to note that in CY2015, NED became the first Non-Government Organization (NGO) to be banned in Russia under a law against "undesirable" international nongovernmental organisations.

This promise was fulfilled.
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.
Status: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 was not legally binding and had no enforcement mechanisms.

As of end-CY2016, a finalized EU Code of Conduct was not yet 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.

As recently as 05/16, Russia tested its Nudol anti-satellite (ASAT) capability, joining China and the USA in their own development and testing of ASAT capabilities.

This promise was not fulfilled.
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-Biden Plan: "The War We Need To Win" dated 07/31/07.
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.

This promise was not fulfilled.
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-Biden Plan: "The War We Need To Win" dated 07/31/07.
Status:There has been no known initiative to provide any funds, either in President Obama's FY2010 thru FY2016 Department of State budget proposals, for the creation of the promised "America's Voice Corps."

This promise has not been fulfilled.
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.
Status:The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) total budget for CY2009 was 350M Euros ($503M at the exchange rate prevailing on 12/31/09), meaning that to double its budget in four years required a commitment by the 151 member states to fund the IAEA by approximately $1B by CY2013. By end-CY2013, IAEA's total budget was 409M Euros ($560M at the 12/31/13 exchange rate).

The USA contributes to the IAEA via four separate appropriations:
(1) Direct Contributions to the IAEA's Regular Budget
(2) Voluntary Contributions to IAEA
(3) $10M per year for IAEA's Peaceful Use Initiative
(4) An average of $18M per year for IAEA contributions within the budgets of the Department of Energy, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and the Department of Agriculture.

The State Department's FY2009 budget for the U.S. portion of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)'s budget was about $200M, an amount maintained for FY2010. Ensuing year contributions were as follows:
FY2011 - $213M
FY2012 - $219M
FY2013 - $224M

First, the IAEA's budget did not "double" during the four years of President Obama's first term in office. Second, the funding goal of $225M reflected in this promise was not met. Still, the U.S. FY2013 contribution represented about 40% of IAEA's total budget. The only conceivable way IAEA's budget could have been doubled during the period CY2009-CY2013 would have been for President Obama to encourage the other 159 IAEA member nations to increase their contributions.

By end-CY2016, IAEA's total budget was 500.6M Euros ($526M at the exchange rate of 12/31/16). In dollars, this was only slightly above the original CY2009 total budget.

This promise was not fulfilled.
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.
Status:"Odious debt" is debt incurred by a repressive government for spending that is not for the benefit of its people or debt incurred to finance the repression of those people. 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 end-CY2016, no significant political progress had been made on this promise since President Obama raised the odious debt issue during his initial election campaign in CY2008. While unilateral loan sanctions were imposed on a selective basis (such as on North Korea, Central African Republic, Yemen, Syria, Iran), this was not the "multilateral" intent of this promise.

This promise was not fulfilled.
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.
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 was this topic addressed at the following summits:
- 36th G-8 Summit (dubbed the "Muskoka Summit") held at Huntsville, Ontario on 06/25-26/10,
- 37th G-8 Summit at Deauville, France on 05/26-27/11,
- 38th G-8 Summit at Capt David, Maryland on 05/18-19/12,
- 39th G-8 Summit at Lough Erne, Northern Ireland on 06/17-18/13,
- 40th G-7 summit at Brussels, Belgium on 06/04-05/14 (Russia was disinvited from the G-8 Summit due to its invasion and annexation of Crimea. The summit became a G7),
- 41st G-7 summit at Schloss Elmau, Germany on 06/07-08/15, and the
- 42nd G-7 summit at Kashiko Island, Japan on 05/26-27/16 where some international health issues were discussed but not the Health Infrastructure 2020.

This promise was not fulfilled.
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.
Status:This promise, had it been fulfilled, would have been an extension of U.S. foreign policy much like the Peace Corps run by the State Department.

The creation of a "Global Energy Corps" did not materialize during President Obama's two terms in office.

This promise was not fulfilled.
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-Biden Plan: "The War We Need to Win" dated 07/31/07.
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 addressed the fact that the U.S. was "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, there has been no specific mention of the SSP program in subsequent presidential and State Department budget submissions except as a mention as a subset of the International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) budget line item. Even if SSP program funding was sustained at $90M-$1B for FY2010-FY2012, it is evident that the investment of "$5 billion over three years" in the SSP program did not occur.

This promise was not fulfilled.
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.
Status:- 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 Myanmar parliament.

- Under pressure caused by President Obama's 05/22/16 visit to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Vietnamese Father Thaddeus Nguyen Van Ly, a human rights campaigner, was released from jail on 05/19/16.

- 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. U.S. Senate Resolution #65 on 02/16/11 stated 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." Primarily due to the Khodorkovsky and Lebedev imprisonments, President Obama decided not to send any high level Administration delegation to the Sochi Winter Olympic games. This snub led President Vladimir Putin to pardon Khodorkovsky, releasing him from jail on 12/20/13 while Lebedev was released by the Russian Supreme Court on 01/23/14.

- Chinese Nobel Peace Prize laureate, democracy advocate and writer Liu Xiaobo 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 was 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 laureate in this manner. There were no formal demarches to the Chinese Government on this matter since then and Liu Xiaobo remained incarcerated for the remainder of President Obama's tenure in office.

- Iranian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani was originally sentenced to be executed for refusing to renounce his Christian faith in accordance with Sharia law. 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. He was released from custody by the Iranian Government on 09/08/12 as a face-saving measure.

The above are but very few, high-visibility examples where the Obama Administration attempted to influence the release of jailed scholars, activists, and opposition party leaders.

This promise was fulfilled.
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: Plan for America: "Blueprint for Change," dated 10/09/08
Source: Obama and Biden's documents/550007-barack-obama-2008-blueprint-for-change.html
Status:This promise was headed toward non-fulfillment when the Obama Administration failed to support the popular uprising in Iran in CY2009, 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. This was a key lesson for Africa's future leaders, a lesson that was heard throughout the world.

In 02/11, the people of Egypt demanded the cessation of the 30-year Mubarak autocratic government. The Obama Administration's supportive reaction was commendable. Mubarak quit. 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've got to get out ahead of change - you can't be behind the curve."

This campaign promise was to "increase support" for fledgling democracies. The above serve as examples where President Obama voiced that support early in his Administration.

Tangible (i.e. funds) to support this promise was also provided to fledgling democracies such as Iraq, Aghanistan, Myanmar, Egypt, Tunisia and others during the Obama Administration on condition that they respect the building blocks for attaining durable democracies.

This promise was fulfilled.
Latin America/CaribbeanGrade
The Promise: " president, Obama will grant Cuban Americans unrestricted rights to visit family and send remittances to the island."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Renewing U.S. Leadership in the Americas", dated 06/06/08.
Source: Source document was available online throughout the Obama Administration. It has since been deleted from all archival websites.
Status:On 04/13/09, President Obama issued an executive order eliminating limits on travel and raising remittance levels by Cuban Americans to relatives in Cuba.

On 01/14/11, President Obama ordered his Administration to find ways to ease travel to Cuba by non-Cuban Americans (primarily academics, students, religious groups, and journalists). Money transfers to Cuba would be permitted to non-government persons in an amount not exceeding $2,000 per year.

This promise was fulfilled.
The Promise: "...will rebuild diplomatic links throughout the hemisphere through aggressive, principled, and sustained diplomacy in the Americas from Day One. He will bolster U.S. interests in the region by pursuing policies that advance democracy, opportunity, and security and will treat our hemispheric partners and neighbors with dignity and respect."
When/Where: Plan for America: "Blueprint for Change," dated 10/09/08
Source: Obama and Biden's documents/550007-barack-obama-2008-blueprint-for-change.html
Status:Barely 4 months in office in 04/09, President Obama attended the 5th Summit of the Americas in Trinidad & Tobago along with 33 other democratically elected Heads of State and Government of the Western Hemisphere. President Obama used this meeting to start engaging in new relationships with countries of the Americas to work together on common challenges: the economic crisis, our common energy and climate future, and public safety.

During the meeting, President Obama committed to continue working with Western Hemisphere counterparts for the reduction of poverty, social inclusion, and democratic governance.

The resumption of diplomatic relations with Cuba announced by President Obama on 12/17/14 was significant, followed by the opening of Cuban and U.S. embassies in mid-CY2015.

This promise was fulfilled.
The Promise: "...will bring together the countries of the region in a new Energy Partnership for the Americas to forge a path toward sustainable growth and clean energy."
When/Where: Plan for America: "Blueprint for Change," dated 10/09/08
Source: Obama and Biden's documents/550007-barack-obama-2008-blueprint-for-change.html
Status:During the 04/09 Summit of the Americas in Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago, President Obama invited all governments of the Western Hemisphere to join in an Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA).

He suggested that the ECPA focus on energy efficiency, renewable energy, cleaner and more efficient use of fossil fuels, energy poverty, and infrastructure. This focus was developed at the 06/09 Americas Energy and Climate Symposium in Lima, Peru.

During his first trilateral North American Leaders meeting held at Guadalajara, Mexico on 08/10/09, President Obama led the establishment of a partnership with the President of Mexico and the Prime Minister of Canada on future emissions trading systems and building a smart grid across the region for more efficient and reliable electricity inter-connections. The partnership established between these three countries was a step in the right direction toward promise fulfillment.

In 04/10, Energy Secretary Chu invited Western Hemisphere energy ministers to the "Energy and Climate Ministerial of the Americas". During this meeting, State Secretary Clinton proposed that ECPA's mandate be expanded to include initiatives regarding sustainable forests and land use, as well as climate change adaptation.

To jump-start the ECPA's efforts, the Administration named three top scientists to serve as ECPA fellows, to serve as consultants, advisors or educators for any of the member countries: Dr. Daniel Kammen, a professor of energy at the University of California-Berkeley; Dr. Ruth Defries, a professor of sustainable development at Columbia University; and Dr. Gerry Galloway, an engineering professor at the University of Maryland.

This promise was fulfilled.
The Promise: "...will substantially increase our aid to the Americas..."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "To Secure America and Restore our Standing," undated.
Source: Source document was available online throughout the Obama Administration. It has since been deleted from all archival websites.
Status:Foreign aid extended to Latin America and the Caribbean during the Obama Administration included funding for:
- Development Assistance (DA)
- Global Health Programs (GHP)
- Food for Peace (P.L. 480)
- Economic Support Fund (ESF)
- Migration and Refugee Assistance (MRA)
- International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement (INCLE) provided through the Central America Regional Security Initiative (CARSI)
- Nonproliferation, Anti-terrorism, De-mining, and Related programs (NADR)
- Foreign Military Financing (FMF), and
- International Military Education and Training (IMET)

Foreign aid provided by fiscal year for the Americas was:
FY2010 - $3.30B
FY2011 - $1.85B
FY2012 - $1.82B
FY2013 - $1.68B
FY2014 - $1.47B
FY2015 - $1.58B
FY2016 - $1.73B

The reduction in funding from FY2011 onward was attributed by the Administration to the effects of the CY2008 financial crisis.

This promise was not fulfilled.
The Promise: "...we need to target all sources of insecurity through a new hemispheric security initiative. This initiative will foster cooperation within the region to combat gangs, trafficking and violent criminal activity."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "To Secure America and Restore our Standing," undated.
Source: Source document was available online throughout the Obama Administration. It has since been deleted from all archival websites.
Status:On 05/27/10, the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI) was launched during the first "U.S.-Caribbean Security Dialogue" in Washington, D.C. The CBSI supplements three other related initiatives: the Merida Initiative, the Central American Regional Security Initiative, and the Colombian Security Development Initiative.

By covering the different regions of Latin America and the Caribbean through these initiatives, the Obama Administration attempted to "mitigate any balloon effect" - criminal spillover resulting from successful reductions in drug trafficking and transnational crime elsewhere in the region."

There were three objectives stipulated in the CBSI: (1) substantially reduce illicit trafficking, (2) increase public safety and security, and (3) promote social justice.

To accomplish the above objectives, the FY2010 Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill allocated $37M for CBSI. President Obama requested $79M for CBSI in his FY2011 budget proposal, $62M of which would be used for police and military assistance, and $17M for economic and social assistance.

This promise was fulfilled.
Middle EastGrade
The Promise: "I strongly support passage of the Armenian Genocide Resolution (H.Res.106 and S.Res.106), and as President I will recognize the Armenian Genocide."
When/Where: Senator Obama Campaign Statement of 01/19/08.
Status:President Obama's statement on 04/24/09, a day of memorial for the Armenian Genocide, failed to mention the key word that interested parties wanted to hear: "genocide". On 03/05/10, the House Foreign Affairs Committee voted 23-22 on a resolution officially recognizing the Armenian Genocide.

This action prompted the Turkish Government to recall its Ambassador to the U.S. home for "consultations." The Turkish Foreign Ministry issued a statement stating: "Secretary Clinton emphasized that the U.S. administration opposes both the decision accepted by the committee and the decision reaching the general assembly."

The White House went further by opposing House Resolution 306 which called for Turkey to return christian churches that were confiscated during the Armenian Genocide.

During his two terms in office, President Obama never publicly uttered the words "Armenian Genocide."

This promise was not fulfilled.
The Promise: "...will launch an aggressive diplomatic effort to reach a comprehensive compact on the stability of Iraq and the region. This effort will include all of Iraq's neighbors -- including Iran and Syria."
When/Where: Plan for America: "Blueprint for Change," dated 10/09/08
Source: Obama and Biden's documents/550007-barack-obama-2008-blueprint-for-change.html
Status:The appointment of former Senator George Mitchell as Special Envoy for Middle East Peace" on 01/22/09 was a critical first step in honoring this promise. Senator Mitchell resigned from this post on 05/13/11 out of frustration that no progress was being made with any of the principal Middle East players in the desired peace process. Senator Mitchell was replaced by his deputy, Ambassador David Hale, who himself was replaced in 6/14 by Ambassador Martin Indyk who stayed on the job only one year.

The promised "comprehensive compact" remained elusive since regional security could not be attained unless meaningful dialogue was initiated with the likes of Iran, Syria, Pakistan, the Palestinians and others.

When the USA pulled its remaining troops out of a marginally stable Iraq at the end of CY2011 as announced by President Obama on 10/21/11 (and requested by the Iraqi Government), the Obama Administration needed to engage with Iran and other unfriendly Middle East nations at the senior diplomatic level. This was in part to ensure that Iran did not dominate Iraq and the Persian Gulf region after the USA's departure. Lack of immediate engagement with Iran paved the way for Iran to instigate increased subversive activities against remaining U.S. assets and resources in Iraq and the Iraqian Government itself. This was a U.S. diplomatic "faux pas."

As of end-CY2016, there was no "comprehensive compact" for Iraqi and regional stability,

This promise was not fulfilled.
The Promise: "...will lead a diplomatic effort to bring together Turkish and Iraqi Kurdish leaders and negotiate a comprehensive agreement that deals with the PKK threat, guarantees Turkey's territorial integrity, and facilitates badly needed Turkish investment in and trade with the Kurds of northern Iraq."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "A Stronger Partnership with Europe for a Safer America", dated 10/14/08.
Status:During his first overseas trip in 04/09, President Obama made stops in Ankara and Istanbul, Turkey. His message was to pledge support for Turkey's efforts to thwart the terrorism tactics of the Kurdistan Workers Party (in Kurdish: Partiya Karkeren Kurdistan or "PKK").

Although much more work was required to build a real cooperative relationship between Turkey and Iraq (including the Kurds), Turkey had to look within its own borders to ensure that the Kurds there received equitable attention in the fields of education, health care, economic opportunities and assistance, etc.

While the Turkish Government met resistance as it tried to resolve problems with the Kurds, it announced its determination to do so. The first step agreed to by the Obama Administration was the disarmament of the PKK under Turkish-US-Iraqi supervision, where the weapons would be handed over to U.S. Forces in northern Iraq.

The next step was to clear all the northern Iraq PKK camps and return those camp areas to control by the regional northern Iraqi administration. Meanwhile, Turkey opened a consulate in the northern Iraqi city of Erbil, based upon an agreement reached between Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu and the leader of the northern Iraqi regional government, Massoud Barzani.

The above was a clear indication that the two sides were talking. President Obama did not promise success. He promised to "lead a diplomatic effort" to give success a chance, which he did.

This promise was fulfilled.
The Promise: "...will support its efforts to join the European Union."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "A Stronger Partnership with Europe for a Safer America", dated 10/14/08.
Status:This campaign promise was in reference to Turkey.

Turkey was officially recognized as a candidate for full membership in the European Union (EU) on 12/12/99 at the Helsinki Summit of the European Council.

In a speech before the Turkish Parliament in 04/09, President Obama stated: "The United States strongly supports Turkey's bid to become a member of the European Union...Centuries of shared history, culture, and commerce bring you together...And Turkish membership would broaden and strengthen Europe's foundation once more."

Although President Obama voiced his support for Turkey in its bid to become a member of the European Union, those words did not lead to membership as of end-CY2016.

This promise was fulfilled.
The Promise: "Obama also will increase aid to Pakistan for development and secular education to counter extremists."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "The War We Need to Win" dated 07/31/07.
Status:In Pakistan, a country of 180M people, youth literacy was a little over 60%, while adult literacy rate was closer to 50% by end-CY2016. Of the 21.6M school-age (5 to 9) children in Pakistan, 6.2M or 29% (2.6M boys and 3.6M girls) were out of school. Only 32% of Pakistani children get a secondary education.

One way in which U.S. education assistance was being used during the Obama Administration was to offer stipends to poor Pakistani families to offset the cost of education with the objective of reducing militancy resulting from education received from madrasas.

Total funding by the U.S. taxpayer for assistance to Pakistan in FY2010 was $4.289B, up from $2.925B in FY2009. Of this amount, only $180M was specifically earmarked for education reform.

Amid calls from various sectors to cut off all foreign aid to Pakistan for many well-founded reasons (i.e. allegedly harboring/hiding Osama bin Laden, blocking supplies from reaching U.S. troops in Afghanistan), Congress immediately decreased total funding for Pakistan in FY2011 (to $2.369B) and FY2012 (to $2.102B). By FY2014, foreign aid to Pakistan totaled $1.162B, only $53M of which went toward education reform under the Economic Support Fund.

Undaunted by dwindling financial resources but buttressed by the first "over-and-above" Kerry-Lugar "Enhanced Partnership with Pakistan Act of 2009" ($1.5B authorized annually for five years starting in CY2010), the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) managed to accomplish the following in Pakistan by end-CY2016:
- built or repaired over 1,400 schools across Pakistan,
- trained over 35,900 teachers and school administrators,
- provided over 18,000 scholarships for talented students to attend tertiary education in Pakistan, and
- reached more than 1,349,000 primary-level learners through reading programs.

As of end-CY2016, the promise to "increase" development and education funding to combat extremist influences in Pakistan was not fulfilled. USAID accomplishments aside, Pakistani madrasas continued to proliferate during the Obama Administration.

This promise was not fulfilled.
The Promise: "Provide at least $2 billion to expand services to Iraqi refugees in neighboring countries."
When/Where: "Blueprint for Change: Obama and Biden's Plan for America" dated 10/09/08.
Status:By United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates, approximately 4.5M Iraqis (one sixth of Iraq's population) were displaced as of end-CY2016. Nearly 4M were internally displaced, and most of the rest were living in countries in the region such as Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iran, Syria and Egypt.

According to State Department estimates, the Obama Administration provided over $2.5B of humanitarian assistance for displaced Iraqis in Iraq and in neighboring countries during President Obama's two terms in office, this allocation being on top of other foreign aid given to Iraq during the same period (CY2009-CY2016).

This promise was fulfilled.
The Promise: "...will implement a Memorandum of Understanding that provides $30 billion in assistance to Israel over the next decade - investments to Israel's security that will not be tied to any other nation."
When/Where: Candidate Obama Speech to the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), Washington, D.C., dated 06/04/08.
Status:The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in question was actually signed on 08/16/07 and provided for a $30B hand-out to Israel over the timeframe 10/08-10/18, an increase of $6B over the $24B provided in the previous decade.

The Obama Administration lived up to the terms of the MOU and provided funding to Israel in the following amounts:
FY2010 - $2.803B
FY2011 - $3.029B
FY2012 - $3.098B
FY2013 - $3.118B
FY2014 - $3.118B
FY2015 - $3.118B
FY2016 - $3.110B
FY2017 - $3.107B

On 09/14/16, the USA and Israel signed a new 10-year MOU covering the period FY2019-FY2028. Under the terms of the new MOU, the USA pledged to provide Israel $38 billion in military aid ($33B for Foreign Military Financing grants plus $5B for missile defense.

This promise was fulfilled.
The Promise: "...would work with key European allies to persuade the European Union as a whole to end its practice of extending large-scale credit guarantees to Iran."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "A Stronger Partnership with Europe for a Safer America" dated 10/14/08.
Status:On 07/26/10, European Union (EU) Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton announced that all 27 EU countries were united in imposing sanctions on Iran in an effort to encourage the Iranian regime to halt uranium enrichment as proof that it is not seeking a nuclear weapons capability. These sanctions would reportedly go beyond United Nations Security Council Resolution 1929 of 06/09/10, and deepen Iran's international isolation.

EU sanctions (referred to as "restrictive measures") are documented in EU Council Regulation 961/2010 dated 10/25/10. Chapter IV (Freezing of Funds and Economic Resources), Article 25 states: "It shall be prohibited:

(a) to sell or purchase public or public-guaranteed bonds issued after 26 July 2010, directly or indirectly, to or from any of the following: (i) Iran or its Government, and its public bodies, corporations and agencies; (ii) a credit or financial institution domiciled in Iran, including the Central Bank of Iran, or any credit or financial institution referred to in Article 23(2); (iii) a natural person or a legal person, entity or body acting on behalf or at the direction of a legal person, entity or body referred to in (i) or (ii); (iv) a legal person, entity or body owned or controlled by a person, entity or body referred to in (i), (ii) or (iii);

(b) to provide brokering services with regard to public or public-guaranteed bonds issued after 26 July 2010 to a person, entity or body referred to in point (a);

(c) to assist a person, entity or body referred to in point (a) in order to issue public or public-guaranteed bonds, by providing brokering services, advertising or any other service with regard to such bonds."

In summary, the announced EU sanctions include a ban on investing or selling equipment to Iran's oil and natural gas industries, restrictions on export-credit guarantees and insurance, and closer monitoring of banks doing business with Iran.

The extent of U.S. influence in the EU's actions is unclear.

Nonetheless, this promise was fulfilled.
The Promise: "...would conduct direct talks with Iran..."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "A Stronger Partnership with Europe for a Safer America" dated 10/14/08.
Status:On 08/02/10, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stated that he was ready to meet/debate with President Obama when the two were attending a General Assembly meeting at the United Nations in 09/10.

The Obama Administration rebuffed this call for a meeting on 08/03/10. In the words of White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs: "We have always said that we'd be willing to sit down and discuss Iran's illicit nuclear program, if Iran is serious about doing that. To date, that seriousness has not been there."

Three years later, President Obama spoke directly via telephone with President Hassan Rouhani on 09/27/13, just before President Rouhani left New York where he had been attending the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly.

White House officials described the 15 minute conversation, initiated by President Rouhani, as cordial. During the same timeframe, Secretary of State John Kerry held a rare meeting with his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif.

This promise was fulfilled.
The Promise: "...supports tough, direct presidential diplomacy with Iran without preconditions...would offer the Iranian regime a choice. If Iran abandons its nuclear program and support for terrorism, we will offer incentives like membership in the World Trade Organization, economic investments, and a move toward normal diplomatic relations. If Iran continues its troubling behavior, we will step up our economic pressure and political isolation."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan on Iran, undated.
Status:As a direct result of President Obama's "carrot and stick" approach in dealing with the Islamic Republic of Iran, a nuclear deal framework agreement was reached on 04/02/15 between Iran and the P5+1 Group (permanent members of the United Nations Security Council - the USA, United Kingdom, Russia, France and China plus Germany) and the European Union. The resultant agreement was the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Under the terms of the JCPOA, sanctions relief would affect the economy of Iran in four ways:
- release of Iran's frozen funds abroad, estimated at $29B, representing approximately one third of Iran's foreign held reserves,
- the removal of sanctions against exports of Iranian oil,
- allow foreign firms to invest in Iran's oil and gas, automobiles, hotels and other sectors, and
- allow Iran to trade with the rest of the world and use global banking systems.

On 01/16/16,the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) announced that Iran had adequately dismantled its nuclear weapons program. The United Nations immediately lifted all sanctions against Iran, allowing Iran to immediately have access to more than $100B in assets frozen around the world and resume selling oil on international markets.

Iran's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) will take years, as there will likely be efforts by Iran's foes (i.e. Saudi Arabia, Israel and others) to thwart membership, much as the establishment of full diplomatic relations between the USA and Iran will not be forthcoming in the foreseeable future.

Strong-arming Iran early in the Obama Administration produced cautiously positive results.

This promise was fulfilled.
The Promise: "... strongly supports the U.S.-Israel relationship. He believes that our first and incontrovertible commitment in the Middle East must be to the security of Israel, America's strongest ally in the Middle East. Obama believes that we should deepen and strengthen the friendship and cooperation between the United States and Israel."
When/Where: Plan for America: "Blueprint for Change," dated 10/09/08
Source: Obama and Biden's documents/550007-barack-obama-2008-blueprint-for-change.html
Status:During the first three years of the Obama Administration, it in fact distanced itself from Israel because of the latter's building of Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem. The relationship between the U.S. and Israel was considered by some as being at the lowest point in over 35 years.

The bilateral relationship between the U.S. and Israel reached a new low on 05/19/11 when President Obama called for the establishment of a Palestinian state based on pre-1967 Six-Day War borders behind which more than 350K Jews reside. In the words of Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney, Obama threw Israel "under the bus" when he stated this position. Prime Minister Netanyau immediately described Obama's call for a Palestinian state based on pre-1967 borders as "indefensible." Prime Minister Netanyahu was seen as placating his constituency and preserving his weak coalition government by disagreeing with any plan to exchange land for peace.

President Obama offered clarifications during a speech to the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) on 05/22/11, stating that his 1967 border statement of 05/19/11 had been misrepresented.

While no one questioned President Obama's commitment to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, Israeli perceptions of the U.S. President were exactly the opposite, because President Obama unwittingly created tension between the U.S. and Israel at the highest levels.

But this strained relationship has not affected continued financial support to Israel promised under the President Carter-era Camp David accords with Egypt -- assistance that President Obama supports.

Nonetheless, tensions between the USA and Israel festered during the remainder of President Obama's tenure in office.

This promise was not fulfilled.
The Promise: "...Israel should not be pressured into a ceasefire that did not deal with the threat of Hezbollah missiles. He believes strongly in Israel's right to protect its citizens"
When/Where: Plan for America: "Blueprint for Change," dated 10/09/08
Source: Obama and Biden's documents/550007-barack-obama-2008-blueprint-for-change.html
Status:In 05/10, Israeli Intelligence Minister Dan Meridor estimated that Hizbullah had 42K missiles "aimed at Israel." He claimed that they could reach anywhere in Israel. The missiles possessed by Hamas in Gaza and Hizbullah in Lebanon originated in North Korea and reached these organizations via Iran and Syria. As one of many examples, with U.S. support, Israel's "Iron Dome" short range missile defense system successfully shot down a Grad rocket fired against Israel from the Gaza strip on 04/07/11.

To President Obama's credit, peace talks between Israel and Palestine resumed on 09/02/10 in Washington, D.C. At that time, the State Department anticipated that those talks would continue toward a final resolution by 09/11 -- although either side could break off the talks for myriad reasons.

By end-CY2011, talks between the Israelis and Palestinians stalled. This failure was largely attributed to the terrorist group Hamas' unity agreement with the Palestinian political party "Fatah." The Hamas charter called then as it does now for the eradication of Israel.

A potential peace agreement between Israel and Palestine, orchestrated by U.S. Special Envoy George Mitchell and other third parties such as Jordan and Egypt, also failed. This draft agreement addressed the disposition of the Hizbullah missile/rocket threats, including Hizbullah's receipt of approximately 10 SCUD-D from Syria. Special Envoy Mitchell announced on 05/13/11 that he was quitting his job, a sign of frustration that neither a ceasefire nor peace agreement would become reality in the foreseeable future. His successors were equally unable to influence peace in the region.

The new Lebanese cabinet announced by Prime Minister Najib Mikati on 06/13/11 gave Hizbullah 16 of 30 seats, making it the dominant political and military force in Lebanon. In practical terms, peace with Israel was seen by many as less likely than when President Obama assumed the presidency.

On the plus side, however, the Obama Administration was supportive of Israel's "Iron Dome," "David's Sling," and "Arrow Defense" capabilities, while approving the sale of 19 F-35 stealth fighter jets with an option for 75 more to replace aging F-16 fighter aircraft.

Further, the Administration has routinely authorized the conduct of large-scale U.S. military exercises with the Israeli armed forces, and has conducted joint intelligence operations with the Mossad.

Despite strained relationships at the senior level between the USA and Israel, the Obama Administration has maintained support of Israel's efforts to protect its citizens.

This promise was fulfilled.
The Promise: "...continuing U.S. cooperation with Israel in the development of missile defense systems."
When/Where: Plan for America: "Blueprint for Change," dated 10/09/08
Source: Obama and Biden's documents/550007-barack-obama-2008-blueprint-for-change.html
Status:From FY2007 to the start of the Obama Administration, more than $750M had been appropriated for Israel's Arrow and David's Sling anti-missile systems.

The Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011 (H.R. 1473) signed into law on 04/14/11 included $205M for the procurement of the Iron Dome defense system to counter short-range rocket threats, $84.7M for the Short Range Ballistic Missile Defense (SRBMD) program including cruise missile defense research and development under the SRBMD program, $58.9M for an upper tier component to the Israeli Missile Defense Architecture, and $66.4M for the Arrow System Improvement Program including development of a long range, ground and airborne detection suite.

"Iron Dome" was first activated in 04/11 and is credited with shooting down 80% of an estimated 300 rockets launched against Israel in 03/12 alone. At these initial stages, however, "Iron Dome" was not expected to be fully capable of protecting all Israeli cities from all rockets/guided missiles that Hamas was acquiring from Syria, Iran and other sources. Attainment of this goal was exacerbated by U.S. fiscal constraints causing the reduction of the FY2011 appropriation of $205M for "Iron Dome" in FY2011 to $0.0M in FY2012.

In summary, here are some of the principal Israeli missile defense systems which took place with active U.S. cooperation during the the Obama Administration:

- "Iron Dome" for missile threats less than 70 kilometers from Israel;
- "David's Sling" for cruise and ballistic missiles launched less than 300 kilometers from Israel;
- Upgrades to the U.S.-provided Patriot missile interceptor system; and
- "Arrow-2" and "Arrow-3" interceptors against Iran's Shabab class ballistic missiles.

The above signified continued U.S. cooperation with Israel in the development of missile defense systems.

This promise was fulfilled.
The Promise: "will introduce a new Rapid Response Fund - a seed fund that will provide a shot of adrenaline to young democracies and post-conflict societies, through foreign aid, debt relief, technical assistance and investment packages that show the people of newly hopeful countries that democracy and peace deliver, and the United States stands by them."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Strengthening Our Common Security by Investing in Our Common Humanity", dated 09/11/08.
Status:The proposed "Rapid Response Fund" evolved to become the "Complex Crises Fund" (CCF), which is a mechanism appropriated by Congress that provided much-needed flexible money to USAID "to prevent and respond to emerging or unforeseen crises,filling a critical gap when stove-piped assistance funds cannot be reprogrammed."

This funding mechanism quickly became one of the most highly demanded tools in the U.S. foreign policy toolkit, and was used to help mitigate violence in 19 countries, including Tunisia, Kenya, Mali and Sri Lanka. In the Central African Republic, for example, CCF funding has been used to help improve access to timely and accurate information, and lay the framework for a peaceful political transition by working to prevent further atrocities and rebuilding social cohesion through community peace-building.

Managed by USAID, funding for CCF during the Obama Administration was as follows:
FY2010 - $50M
FY2011 - $40M
FY2012 - $40M
FY2013 - $38M
FY2014 - $20M
FY2015 - $20M
FY2016 - $10M

The future of the CCF, given fast-dwindling funds, is questionable. The promise did not have a dollar amount attached to it, so credit is given for the creation and funding of this initiative by the Obama Administration.

This promise was fulfilled.
The Promise: "...will mobilize our civilian agencies to address a new set of global challenges and boost the stature of the government's long-term development mission to attract the most talented professionals."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Strengthening Our Common Security by Investing in Our Common Humanity", dated 09/11/08.
Status:On 12/15/10, Secretary of State Clinton unveiled the first Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR) following President Obama's release of a National Security Strategy (NSS) released on 05/27/10, after the Presidential Study Directive on Global Development (PSD-7) was leaked to the public earlier in 05/10.

As of CY2010, there were no less than 12 departments, 25 agencies, and 60 government offices involved in U.S. foreign assistance programs. The greatest hindrance to progress on this promise appeared to be the age-old turf conflict between the State Department and USAID. The State Department recruits for policy and communications skills, while USAID recruits more for sector and management expertise. Another fly in the ointment is that the Administrator of USAID continued to report to the Secretary of State.

The QDDR called for the State Department and USAID to change the way they did business by mandating reform in four areas:
- adapt to a 21st Century diplomatic landscape,
- elevate and modernize development,
- strengthen the civilian capacity to prevent and respond to crises and conflicts, and
- work smarter to develop results for the American taxpayer.

Reacting to President Obama's challenge in this promise, one of the key goals articulated in State's QDDR was to "focus and deepen our investments and empower our development professionals to deliver in areas that build on our core strengths."

This promise was fulfilled.
The Promise: "...will coordinate and consolidate PEPFAR [President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief], Millennium Challenge Corporation, Middle East Partnership Initiative and many foreign assistance programs currently housed in more than 20 executive agencies into a restructured, empowered and streamlined USAID."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Strengthening Our Common Security by Investing in Our Common Humanity", dated 09/11/08.
Status:Launched by President Bush in FY2003, the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) was reauthorized in the amount of $48B in FY2009 for a period of five years through FY2013. In addition to funds to fight HIV/AIDS, it also includes funding for tuberculosis and malaria.

In 03/14, USAID partnered with the Millenium Challenge Corporation (MCC) to help other countries take the reins and empower themselves to confront development challenges like HIV/AIDS.

Since its creation in CY2004, the MCC remained an independent foreign aid agency of the U.S. Government. Similarly, the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) has existed since CY2002 as a separate State Department program that supports reform efforts in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

However, there was no sign of any initiative by the Obama Administration to consolidate PEPFAR, MCC, and the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) under the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

Rather, a 09/29/10 statement by Ambassador Eric Goosby, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs confirmed that "the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Department of Defense (DOD), Department of Commerce (DoC), Department of Labor (DoL), Peace Corps, the Institute of Medicine (IOM), Millennium Challenge Corporation, Middle East Partnership Initiative and other government organisms continue to share PEPFAR implementation with USAID under President Obama's Global Health Initiative (GHI)."

This promise to consolidate PEPFAR activities with those of the MCC and MEPI under a "streamlined USAID" did not materialize during the Obama Administration.

This promise was not fulfilled.
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