Saturday, Dec 06, 2008
Barack Obama is facing rising criticism from both the Left and the Right over his failure to signal change in his foreign policy.
On a range of issues, from Kosovo, China, Russia and Nato’s eastward expansion, and the Middle East, former White House officials and leading analysts are disappointed at how quickly the president-elect has moved to the centre ground since his election just a month ago.
“The tone, image and symbolism will be different, and he will have more interest in multi-lateral solutions [than George W. Bush],” said Doug Bandow, a former adviser to President Ronald Reagan. “But I don’t see evidence of dramatic change.”
Mr Obama has not shown much sign of appreciating that “we have entered an age where the US can’t dictate to the world any more” and that the US can no longer afford its global military role., Mr Bandow said.
Like others, he would like to see the new administration show signs that it will acknowledge that the US cannot be the world’s policeman, and that it will urge traditional allies such as Japan, South Korea and Europeans to stand up for themselves more.
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“Pulling back is not popular among most of Washington’s elite, but in survey after survey it is popular among the public,” said Christopher Preble, head of foreign policy studies at the libertarian Cato Institute, who added: “Do we need so many troops in Germany two decades after the end of the Cold War?”
While Mr Obama campaigned on pulling troops out quickly from Iraq and promised to talk directly to America’s enemies, he is now retreating from both undertakings.
This article was posted: Saturday, December 6, 2008 at 4:51 am