Tuesday, August 20, 2013

FoPo Playbook

44"s Foreign Policy Playbook is looking kinda - well - played

As best understood - 44 used 3 Pillars to support a particular World View and alla Policies that go with it 
Demonstrate a willingness to engage directly with those countries that disagreed with America. If Great Satan eschewed the more muscular and aggressive foreign policy practiced by 43, 44 was convinced he could focus on addressing legitimate differences and finding common ground for consensus solutions.

Play a more restrained role in the world, substituting "smart" power like diplomacy and economic aid for the "hard" power of military force. This practice, he believed, would both reduce global tensions and free up resources for "a little nation building right here at home."

Manage more issues through international organizations and agreements. Working through forums like the United Nations, he would join in treaties and conventions to help establish legitimate “rules of the road” for the conduct of international affairs. These structures would, in turn, help mobilize efforts to deal with global challenges from global warming to freedom of the seas.

Alas! Reality doth bite
At the end of the day, it could work only if our adversaries chose to cooperate. It ceded the initiative to the other side and offered no alternative if they choose not play by the doctrine’s rules. Predictably, no one—from Putin to the Taliban—has opted to take up the president's offer. But layering risk-averse policies on top of the doctrine only exacerbates risks, encouraging competitors to press their advantage.

The problem is that every pillar upon which 44's Doctrine rested seems unable to bear any weight. No longer confident in his approach, the leader of the free world has become intensely risk-averse in his second term.

Meanwhile, his foreign-policy and national-security teams are left floundering.

Pic - "Nowhere is our inability to grasp the realities of Middle-Eastern politics more obvious than in our self-deceiving attitude towards the theocracy in Iran"