Repost-Robert Kaplan At Real Clear World-‘Obama’s Foreign Policy Record: TBD’

Full piece here.

Kaplan, two years ago, as to claims of Obama’s foreign policy realism:

‘This leads to Obama’s fundamental problem. Actually he is not a realist, at least not in the vein of a Henry Kissinger, James Baker or Brent Scowcroft. Yes, Obama understands restraint. He rushes in with drones and advisers rather than with ground troops. But that is only the beginning of realism, not its culmination. Realism, when it works well, requires patriotism. It requires a profound loyalty to the patria — a specific geographical ground and its storied history, which the realist feels deeply in his bones — and whose basic interest is then pursued by the realist, often very aggressively. Baker and Scowcroft had this, and Kissinger, while an immigrant, had it as well. They all probably would have negotiated with Iran rather than pursue a military strike — but they also would have applied brinksmanship and other means to prevent being taken to the cleaners by the Iranians.’

Well, I suspect Obama is loyal, but to Civil Rights activism and various forms of progressive and Left-liberal ideals first and foremost…

Addition: Link sent in to a Ben Domenech piece at The Federalist: ‘Reject Naive Foreign Policy, Whatever Its Source

Is Barack Obama A Realist?

Henry Kissinger & George Schulz Via The WSJ: ‘The Iran Deal And Its Consequences’

I’ve been referred to Obama’s Nobel Prize acceptance speech to show the framework upon which he hangs his foreign policy. He’s been called a realist, or one who generally deals with the world as it is, not as he’d like it to be.  In the speech, Obama sets an expectation of using force against evil in the world if necessary. He’s willing to part company with Gandhi and MLK in the face of a genuine possible evil and the grim choices events may require.

Naive foreign policy is naive foreign policy.

I don’t believe that we can appease Islamic extremists, which is the whole premise of this administration’s approach…blunt American power and incentivize Muslim societies to drive the extreme elements out through international cooperation: Via Youtube-Uncommon Knowledge With Fouad Ajami And Charles Hill

Just how far Left is this administration anyways? Is Bernhard Henri-Levy actually influencing U.S. policy decisions..? From New York Magazine: ‘European Superhero Quashes Libyan Dictator’Bernhard Henri-Levy At The Daily Beast: ‘A Moral Tipping Point’Charlie Rose Episode On Libya Featuring Bernhard Henri-Levy, Les Gelb And Others

2 thoughts on “Repost-Robert Kaplan At Real Clear World-‘Obama’s Foreign Policy Record: TBD’

  1. Foreign policy is about the only area that U.S. presidents have any real power. You prefer a “less naive”, more activist foreign policy, so you should vote for Hilary. I prefer isolationism and so should vote for Bernie. Either way Congress will blunt the extremism of both of them. Donald is too much of a wild card for either of us. Isn’t democracy wonderful?

    1. Malcolm,

      One man’s ‘activism’ is another man’s ‘consistent engagement with crisis, often belated, in response to direct and indirect security threats, usually upon a platform of realism.’

      Common defense is relatively high on my list of things we must do together if we want to maintain the Republic, though how and how much is always up for debate. I would point to the current President, not exactly known for a vigorous defense of the national interest and, I’d argue…realism.

      Yet drones, SpecOps, Intel on IS, goings-on in Pakistan, many actors in China (cyber-wise, especially), non-state nuclear actors and the black market, piracy, a general base level of treachery and espionage (even among allies) etc point to an arguably different set of realities and possible outcomes.

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