Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Testing of Obama

British politician (and former UN high representative for Bosnia) Paddy Ashdown thinks that the new president is facing an especially high number of early challenges and tests from different countries around the world.
They are testing to see how far they can go. I don't think this is a coordinated thing where they rang each other up and said let's all do this at once, but this is what happens when people with an agenda want to see what the reaction of the new administration will be ... This is more than what's happened with previous presidents.

Among the challenges listed by Gregory Katz of the AP:

*North Korean preparations for a missile test

*Yemen's release of 170 militants linked to Al-Qaeda

*The release of A.Q. Khan from house arrest in Pakistan

*The Taliban attacks in Kabul

*The announced closure of the Manas airbase in Kyrgyzstan

One might add the referendum results in Venezuela for how they have reenergized Hugo Chavez--as well as Chavez's comments about shifting to become China's leading oil supplier in the future.

I'm sure we could expand this list even further ...

One point of interest == and a first test == can President Obama win Canadians over to his view of how things should be done in Afghanistan?

Is Chavez really worth adding? He's really only throwing up ideas in the marketplace. He's not a serious security threat. Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen seem to be the ones that he should focus on.
Why (Ex) Washington Realist?...
He's no longer based in Washington but is up in Newport at the Naval War College.

Washington DC is a geographical place but it also draws from a much wider radius. I would think that a blog welcoming comments from all over the world wouldn't need to require its anchor to be resident in the capital.

Greg Djerejian began his blog (Belgravia Dispatch) in London but has been in New York for some time now and kept the original name. I think you'd be fine keeping The Washington Realist. Also I don't think you mean to imply that you are now an ex-realist.
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