Fixing Foreign Entanglements
November 6, 2008 9:15 AM   Subscribe

Fred Kaplan gives President Obama suggestions on foreign policy repair.
posted by wittgenstein (22 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Thanks for posting. Seems to me an admirably concise mix of specific recommendations and broader goals.
posted by tawny at 9:26 AM on November 6, 2008


I disagree with some of the specifics in this list, like: leaving troops in Iraq (we shouldn't have overseas bases, imo, because they cost us tons of money and usually build resentment among the populations in these countries); the idea that Russia should feel guilty over South Ossetia when really, it's more of a Georgian thing, imo; that Bush did us a favor by using "emergency war funds" to fund everything in the Middle East and the War on Terror (nothing like overspending?).

In other words, I think his opinions are good, just not some of his reasoning.
posted by aliceinreality at 9:32 AM on November 6, 2008


So, basically what most MeFites have been saying for six years.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 9:37 AM on November 6, 2008


Rahm Emanual accepts CoS position. Perhaps Ari will help find talent.
posted by netbros at 10:06 AM on November 6, 2008


Pretty good stuff. Consolidating agency information and intelligence is a big one (none of them trust each other).

Side note: With the Afghanistan stuff, imagine if Obama were to get Osama during year one of presidency (or a confirmation of his death)?
posted by Lacking Subtlety at 10:30 AM on November 6, 2008


Obama will go a long way towards ameliorating the stinging slap Bush gave Canada by simply returning to tradition and visiting us first after taking power, as U.S. Presidents have always done. Prior to W that is.
posted by illiad at 10:36 AM on November 6, 2008


that Bush did us a favor by using "emergency war funds" to fund everything in the Middle East and the War on Terror (nothing like overspending?).

I think the point is, is that Bush separated out the baseline spending from the war spending (which was done in a series of supplementals), which made it easier for him to fund the war spending ("support the troops!") ...

... but it also makes it easier to look at big-ticket items in isolation from war spending, and easier to ask if we really need these programs (e.g. "Do we really need more F-22s? After all, they're not being used in Iraq...").
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:42 AM on November 6, 2008


we really need more F-22s?

Depends on if we need them to fight the Soviets or not. Whoops, did I say Soviets? I meant Russians, silly me, what would ever have caused me to say that?
posted by Pollomacho at 10:56 AM on November 6, 2008


I have to question the reasoning behind recommending Colin Powell as a special envoy to Palestine. While C.P. enjoys an astonishingly postive image at home, I wonder if that holds abroad, especially in the Middle East. He was, after all, a very public face of the administration's push for war in Iraq. I may be wrong, but it would be worth checking out how folks in that part of the world view the man, or any envoy, before sending him over.
posted by Tullius at 10:59 AM on November 6, 2008


I was kind of hoping that 'Foreign policy repair' above would lead to a fun Flash game by that name. I'd play a few rounds of Foreign Policy Repair. Can someone hack that together by Friday?
posted by bicyclefish at 11:14 AM on November 6, 2008


we really need more F-22s?
Depends on if we need them to fight the Soviets or not.


Which is funny, because if you ask me whether we need more F-22s, my answer is "oh hell yes."
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:39 AM on November 6, 2008


Obama won't be President until January. Right now he's "President-elect".
posted by Class Goat at 11:59 AM on November 6, 2008


Tullius - I agree about your comment on Colin Powell. Sending him would surely allow opponents of the US to portray the incoming administration as more of the same. And it would be hard to disagree, persuasively at least.
posted by tawny at 12:08 PM on November 6, 2008


Obama won't be President until January. Right now he's "President-elect".

The first word of the article covers this. The rest is advice that applies not to his current position but to his future status as President Obama.
posted by decagon at 12:29 PM on November 6, 2008


F-22's?

Shouldn't we have something that can achieve low earth orbit by now?
posted by Balisong at 2:25 PM on November 6, 2008


Shouldn't we have something that can achieve low earth orbit by now?

Don't worry, you will soon enough.
posted by Dasein at 3:37 PM on November 6, 2008


The problem is getting a low earth orbit vehicle and crossing it with a assault fighter with dogfight manuverability.
posted by Balisong at 3:57 PM on November 6, 2008


Depends on if we need them to fight the Soviets or not.

The Russian mafia is rewriting the country's constitution to allow Putin back into power. Having a few more F22s is probably a good idea.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:25 PM on November 6, 2008


Obama won't be President until January. Right now he's "President-elect".

Read the article next time.
posted by dirigibleman at 8:26 PM on November 6, 2008


The problem is getting a low earth orbit vehicle and crossing it with a assault fighter with dogfight manuverability.

This reminds me of the conflicting missions the Space Shuttle was designed for.

- Ok, we want a reusable space vehicle
- No problem
- Piloted by astronauts
- Well, that's a challenge, but we can do it.
- And it should land on a runway.
- Uh.
- And have a cargo bay large enough for a school bus size satellite.
- Wait, what?!?
posted by zippy at 9:57 PM on November 6, 2008


Five Silver Linings: In spite of the obvious challenges, Obama will enter the White House with some paths to success staked out.
posted by homunculus at 5:10 PM on November 11, 2008


Fred Kaplan and Elizabeth Rubin on Bill Moyers.
posted by homunculus at 10:21 PM on November 14, 2008


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