From my post at COMMENTARY on the reliability of presidential commitments:
The White House “outrage” at the “open letter” to Iran signed by 47 senators, led by Sen. Tom Cotton, was reinforced by Vice President Biden’s formal statement, which intoned that “America’s influence depends on its ability to honor its commitments,” including those made by a president without a vote of Congress.
Perhaps we should welcome Biden’s belated insight. As Jonathan Tobin notes, on taking office in 2009, President Obama refused to be bound by the 2004 Gaza disengagement deal in the letters exchanged between President George W. Bush and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. His secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, announced that such commitments were “unenforceable” –- not binding on the new administration. In 2009, Obama disregarded previous commitments not only to Israel but to Poland, the Czech Republic, and Georgia; he “fundamentally transformed” America’s previous commitments ...
The Gaza disengagement deal was (1) approved by Congress; (2) included in the Gaza disengagement plan presented to the Israeli Knesset, and (3) relied on by Israel in withdrawing from Gaza later in 2005. The history of the deal (which the current secretary of state endorsed at the time as a U.S. “commitment”) is set forth here, and the reason Obama sought to undo it is discussed here. In 2009, the Obama administration refused at least 22 times to answer whether it considered itself bound by the deal, and in 2011 it reneged on key aspects of it.