Why Obama has defaulted to Bush foreign policy positions

Why Obama has defaulted to Bush foreign policy positions

After a year with President Barack Obama at the helm of U.S. foreign policy, an observer could be forgiven for concluding that the presidency is more like taking over the controls of a train than getting behind the wheel of a car. That’s because you can’t steer a train; you can only determine its speed. So far, the menu of foreign policy challenges, and the Administration’s response to each, is remarkably similar at the close of 2009 to what it was at the close of 2008.

Obama’s promises of outreach to adversaries and consultation and coordination with allies certainly cleared away some of the negative atmospherics left by the Bush Administration. However, his substantial policy positions have proven to be remarkably similar to those of the second-term, chastened-by-reality George W. Bush. Indeed, anti-war Democrats groaned when the President, in his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, referred to “evil in the world” and hailed America’s willingness to use force abroad over the past six decades as an essential component of global security. The neoconservatives cheered.

The reality is far more complex than that snapshot, of course, but a survey of Obama’s handling of the main strategic challenges appears to affirm the old Cold War dictum that domestic political partisanship ends at the water’s edge. [continued…]

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1 thought on “Why Obama has defaulted to Bush foreign policy positions

  1. Jerry Beck

    How silly we are to expect change from either Democrats or Republicans. In fact they are halves of the only political party in America: The Money Party.

    It’s obvious to anyone who looks at his political appointments that Obama made a deal with the CIA and the Bush people to maintain the wars that are so profitable to the military-intelligence-industrial complex.

    In Vietnam the US military and CIA were partners in a profitable dope import business. That business continues in Helmand province in Afghanistan. Civilian contractors and their employers make lots of money out of Iraq and Afghanistan so why be surprised that the war continues. As a commandant of the Marine Corps said eighty years ago “War is a racket.”

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