The Return of Realist Interventionism

The Return of Realist Interventionism

by Leon Hadar

Figuring out the direction President Barack Obama’s foreign policy will take has become a full-time job for pundits and foreign diplomats in Washington. And a key question on everyone’s mind is how exactly Obama will seek to exert influence as the American Empire shrinks.

A clear consensus among Washington cognoscenti on the direction of “Obadiplomacy” has yet to emerge, despite nearly two years of presidential campaigning and a full slate of Cabinet nominees. This points to two possibilities. First, that Obama has a coherent foreign policy vision and a strategy to implement it, but that he and his aides are keeping it top secret – a great skill for those who want to win victories in the games that nations play. Or, Obama does not have a grand diplomatic strategy à la Cold War containment or the “war on terror.” If such is the case, the evolution of foreign policy under Obama could be a process of trial and error, a cost-effective diplomatic approach in which major decisions are made in response to political and economic pressures at home and abroad.

If the second possibility eventually comes to define the Obama presidency, we can be certain of one thing – the Washington foreign policy elite will not be sated. Whether they are on the Right or the Left, hawks or doves, liberal internati… >>>

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