Well, it is difficult to describe the utter shock I felt when I awoke this early afternoon and saw that Barack Obama had won the Nobel Peace Prize. For What? The Nobel Committee cited his efforts to increase international cooperation and his ability to inspire “hope for a better future.” The truth is that he has accomplished none of the objectives he set during the campaign. Yes, he is participating more in the international diplomatic scene, but is mere attendance all that is necessary to win the Nobel Prize?
The situation in Afghanistan is unresolved and it appears that it will remain so well into the immediate future. Iran continues to challenge the international community with its nuclear weapons program. The Isreali-Palestinian Conflict seems to be on track for more bloodshed soon. President Obama may have some achievements worthy of the award in the future. However, the Nobel Committee’s decision to grant him the award now sets his administration up for failure in the long run.
It is impossible to blame the president for the Committee’s actions, and likely that Obama would rather not have had to accept the award at this point in his career. The Peace Prize is only the most recent and strongest indication of the lofty goals that others have placed on the administration. It remains to be seen wether or not the president will be able to achieve the goals he has set for himself and the goals set for him by others. If he fails to reach these goals, his competitors in 2012 will be sure to use the Nobel Prize as an example of a man who promised much yet failed to deliver.