Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Foreign Policy Prediction

Obama's cool veneer on foreign policy issues still hasn't been matched by a convincing agenda: "Be gentler and wiser." does not a strategy make, even when paired with a great deal of detailed knowledge.

I have enough confidence in Obama to believe that he is capable of coming around to a progressive, but realistic strategy. The question is: How much pain will intervene? Furthermore, foreign policy difficulties could be the specter that haunts the Obama administration: It all depends on Obama's learning curve and the pace of world events.

My prediction is that Obama will eventually come around to a global stabilization policy that rests on stronger concerted action between democracies. He could certainly accomplish this, if he wished to, while maintaining the least combative stance possible towards authoritarian regimes.

My instincts tell me that Obama's conciliatory nature, and Democratic biases, will lead him to favor gentle diplomacy with rogue regimes. I suspect that this will bear some fruit but that it will also encourage some destabilization: some nations will be encouraged by Obama's caution. The logic of democratic convergence will eventually make itself clear and Obama will be capable of discerning as much. Will it be too late for him? I hope and suspect not but cannot rule out the possibility.

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