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Analyst: Obama's Having a Bad Week for Foreign Policy

Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images

The Obama administration has dealt with several major challenges in the foreign policy arena in the last couple of weeks.

In particular, hearings on how the State Department handled the uprising in Benghazi placed the administration’s previous secretary of state under a microscope. That's lead to Republican members of Congress insisting the President is guilty of a "cover-up."

Foreign policy expert Art Cyr doesn't quite buy it.

"If the President is guilty, I think it's almost certainly more of being too aloof and too disengaged and too focused on getting elected, which is how he became President of the United States twice now, rather than focusing on the details of policy," he says.

Cyr, who is director of the Clausen Center for World Business at Carthage College in Kenosha, says the administration is also facing pressure on how to handle the deteriorating situation in Syria. Cyr says the United States cannot ignore the humanitarian crisis at hand, but is limited in what course of action it can take.

At the same time, Cyr says the U.S. got some welcome news from the recent elections in Pakistan. Former and likely future Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif won election - with minimal, though still some, violence.

"Pakistan has had a vexed relationship with the United States and anything like stable democracy - this is their first peaceful alternation in power of opposing parties...this is part of a global trend that Americans should welcome," Cyr says.

Cyr says claims of vote rigging and fraud likely will not affect the outcome of the election.

Arthur I. Cyr is Director of the Clausen Center for World Business and Clausen Distinguished Professor at Carthage College in Kenosha. Previously he was President of the Chicago World Trade Center, the Vice President of the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations, a faculty member and executive at UCLA, and an executive at the Ford Foundation. His publications include the book After the Cold War - American Foreign Policy, Europe and Asia (Macmillan and NYU Press).