None of the leading members of the Obama administration had any experience in foreign policy, first and foremost Obama himself. It behooves a novice president to appoint at least one expert to his foreign policy team, but he appointed none (probably because he did not appreciate diplomatic complexities). Hillary is no expert, the Secretary of Defense Gates does not get involved, and the National Security Advisor was a General who could organize the operation but with no ideas. V.P. Biden had experience as a senator, but he is a lightweight. Compare this situation to Nixon and Ford who had Kissinger, and Carter who employed Brzezinski. Both advisors brought "foreign" successes to their masters. It seems that the only "thinker" in the ME team of this administration is Denis Ross, an advisor of Obama. Whoever read Ross' book on the ME realizes that he is a very skillful negotiator, who comes up with bridging proposals even in tough cases. But he is not a strong man, and may not know how to use the "big stick". Ross might be the one responsible for the latest ridiculously generous "package" of incentives for a THREE months freeze of construction which is not even sufficient. I did not take into account that Ross is a Zionist Jew.
Rocket alarm sirens sound in southern Israel (Haaretz)
from the article: Netanyahu says close to deal with U.S. on West Bank settlement freeze