Tuesday, June 24, 2008

No Reset Button

I was a panelist at today's event held at the U.S. Institute of Peace on Foreign Policy and the Next U.S. Administration. A common theme was that there is no "reset" button in U.S. foreign policy. and that no matter who the next president is, there are challenges to be faced that will require adaption to the changes occurring underway in the international system--and the next president will have to be able to mobilize support and utilize his political capital to get domestic constituencies on board.

Thought Helena's point at the beginning was quite provocative, that in the current international environment married with the new information technologies, it's nigh impossible to win a foreign war--basically meaning that you no longer can bomb someone to the stone age to ensure victory. I guess one could quibble that the Russians did this in Chechnya but perhaps that is not strictly a "foreign" war ...
Also the distinction drawn by Dan between promoting democracy and promoting governance.
All of this talk begas the following question: "What do you Americans want from the world?"

You have no existential enemy, you have a country rich in natural resources, you have an educated workforce, and you have excellen relationships with most countries of the world.

"What's your problem, man?"
Our problem is we want to be able to dictate anything to anyone anywhere. That is why we spend more on our bloated war machine than the rest of the world combined.

And it's killing our economy.

And our republic.
Nick, thought your points skewering the Congress were right on. As long as special interests run foreign policy, you can't have a "national interest."
Some further commentary is up at the blog of one of your fellow panelists: http://justworldnews.org/archives/002972.html
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