|President-elect Barack Obama has received lots of kudos, i.e. here and here, for the selection of his foreign policy team. But sometimes in order to reach a broader perspective on a topic, it is helpful to get a contrarian view. In this case, it is provided by Melvin Goodman, a professor of international security studies at the National War College who argues that Obama has actually compiled a weak national security team. Here are a few snippets of Goodman's argument:
-In keeping Robert Gates at the Pentagon, Obama has a "secretary of defense who does not support many of the foreign policy positions that the president-elect took during the campaign."
-In selecting Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, Obama made a choice based on "domestic political reasons."
- In choosing James Jones to become his national security adviser, Obama has picked a person who has "never been known as a big thinker on foreign policy issues; his appointment, moreover, places another key position in the hands of the military."
- With Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton, Obama selected two key figures who voted for the war in Iraq" and with Robert Gates and James Jones key players who defended the war in Iraq.
"With these inadequacies in personnel, it will be difficult to reform the policy process and flip the switch on a series of Bush administration decisions that have harmed the interests of the United States," writes Goodman.
With the exception that Hillary Clinton was picked merely for domestic reason (one can certainly make the argument that she possesses foreign policy experience), Goodman's other points are factually correct.
The question is what would have been a better alternative? Should a president choose only people who have shown total agreement with his campaign platform? Should a president forego political experience as a factor in making cabinet decisions? Should a president ignore the political landscape and the fact that the country has been rife with partisan divide for eight years?
I think not. A president should not select positions and govern along strict partisan lines or single issue stances, but instead must at least try to practice big tent politics.
|You stated "the fact that the country has been rife with partisan divide for eight years?" Liberals like to think that we have had "partisan divide" only since Bush. Liberals are the creators of partisan divide-the alpha and the omega. Liberals and the mainstream media think "partisan" is only when conservatives do not agree with liberals. Let us honor President-elect Obama with the same respect that liberals honored President Bush in 2000 and beyond.|
|Casey Brown-Myers | Homepage | E-Mail | 23.12.2008, 05:54|