Obama on Foreign Policy

Here, from the journal Foreign Affairs, is Barack Obama’s obligatory term paper on foreign policy. (Thanks to my friend Jess Kaplan for sending the link our way.)

Though the paper deals mostly in generalities, its tone is encouraging, and although I doubt Obama will get the Democratic nod next year, I was pleasantly surprised to see how little he pandered to the more extreme elements in the party’s base. He recommends a beefed-up military, troop buildups in Afghanistan, serious pressure on Pakistan, with aggressive diplomacy taking a primary role, but backed by a genuine willingness to act if necessary: in general, a confident, forward-leaning foreign policy, and one that embraces, rather than rejects, the notion that the US ought to be using its unrivaled power, and the beneficent appeal of its core principles, to shape the sort of world we live in. In fact, he sounded rather like a neoconservative in the making!

As I say, something of a surprise, and an interesting move on his part; obviously the Dems are trying to balance getting out from under their soft-on-security image with not just becoming Bush-Cheney Lite. I think he will lose some support on the far Left, but gain some in the center, as a result of this article. I imagine also that some will wonder, as I do, whether he’s just trying it all on, to see how it fits. Do have a look.

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