Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Son of Bush Sr., cont.

Philip Stephens nicely captures a paradox in Obama's choice of well-established figures for his foreign policy team:
Mr Obama’s choice of foreign policy heavyweights is significant for its ambition rather than its caution. If he really does want to recast America’s relationship with the world, surrounding himself with seasoned players will make the task easier rather than harder. Why would a president who wanted to change things put the task in the hands of inexperienced acolytes?
To get there, however, I argued in today's FT that Stephens sets up a false dichotomy between change and continuity in U.S. foreign policy:
With regard to policy, Mr Obama has long signalled his admiration for the coalition-building skills and multilateralism of George Bush Sr. He has always framed his call for revitalised diplomacy and reinvestment in the tools of soft power as a restoration of the pre-George W. Bush foreign policy consensus, retooled to tackle urgent challenges such as global warming, nuclear weapons containment, and the murderous fury bred by widespread poverty.

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