Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Pragmatic Progressive Foreign Policy?

As ebberdobby waits for 44's Big War Speech, can't help to look back as the fopo that brought us to this point.

So what is the president if not a realist? A progressive pragmatist?

As the president himself has put it, his foreign-policy philosophy is “Don’t do stupid s***,” which would be a decent tagline for pragmatism. Consequently, the administration’s foreign policy has a distinctly ad hoc quality: It occasionally resembles realism but also sometimes looks like liberal hawkishness, as in Libya in 2011, or old-school progressive idealism, as in the president’s Cairo and Ankara speeches, which gave the impression that 44 believed he could talk people out of their interests, grudges, and hatreds.

A truly realist president would look very different. Rather than elevating ad hocery to the level of foreign policy, he would act strategically, figuring out where to invest effort and resources and where to withhold them. Rather than presiding over inaction and drift, he would focus intently on maintaining America’s power by undertaking tough but necessary domestic reforms to spur growth. Where appropriate, he would be visibly strong and decisive, following the advice Eisenhower reportedly gave Nixon: Never let your enemy know what you will not do. In a world that is increasingly competitive, unstable, and dangerous, we could hardly hope for better.

Pic - "Long War Redux"