National Security Network

Barack Obama

Barack Obama

Diplomacy

Engaging the Hemisphere

Report 17 April 2009
As the Summit of the Americas opens today in Trinidad, President Obama faces stark challenge in repairing relations with Latin America. When President Bush came to office, he pledged to engage and prioritize the hemisphere. He did neither. The Bush administration’s highly restrictive Cuba policy and abrasive diplomatic approach meant relations between the United States and Latin America drifted further apart, resulting in the loss of U.S. prestige and influence in the region. Although frustration with the US is intense, and progress will be slow, the Summit of the Americas provides an opening to build on these efforts, by seeking a coordinated approach to the global economic crisis and by beginning to address the common challenge of energy security and climate change in the Hemisphere.
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Obama Too Ambitious on Foreign Policy?

News Dubuque Telegraph Herald 17 April 2009
Iran

Tough Direct Diplomacy with Iran

Report 15 April 2009
As the U.S. prepares to rejoin multilateral talks with Iran, President Ahmadinejad responded to American overtures by announcing preparation of a new set of proposals to try to end the standoff between Iran and the West over Iran’s uranium enrichment program.  The devil will be in the details, but this appears to be a positive step.And as was promised during the campaign, the President’s team is rebuilding a consensus strategy in the international community and reportedly preparing a strategy that recognizes that making the full suspension of uranium enrichment a precondition for any negotiations is a recipe for guaranteed failure. 
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Diplomacy

U.S.-European Security Alliance Is Vital and Must Be Revamped

Report 3 April 2009
As NATO leaders meet in Strasbourg-Kehl to mark the alliance’s sixtieth anniversary, they bring great hopes for its renewal after eight years of discord.  Today the Alliance will admit Albania and Croatia as members, and return France to full participation after 43 years; both are signs of the vital role the Alliance still plays in binding up Europe’s old wounds – and binding all of Europe to the United States.  But substantive challenges lie ahead.
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Diplomacy

50 Days: Obama's Foreign Policy Dramatically Different than Bush

Report 10 March 2009
Fifty days into the new administration, a close examination of foreign policy shows dramatic changes on three broad fronts, with early table setting steps giving way to action abroad and at home.  Not everything can or should change overnight, but skeptics' assertions that Obama' foreign policy is a continuation of Bush's is not supported by the facts.
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Diplomacy

A Comprehensive Strategy for the Middle East

Report 5 March 2009
Fewer than 50 days into his Presidency, Barack Obama has begun to set a different framework for how America deals with the Middle East. There is no question that today America’s choices and flexibility in the region are far greater than they were only 50 days ago.
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Diplomacy

A Special Relationship and a "Global New Deal"

Report 3 March 2009
UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown arrives in Washington today, becoming the first European leader to meet with President Obama. Although British troops have fought in both Iraq and Afghanistan and the UK remains an important player on issues from Middle East peace to Iran, poverty and climate change, Brown’s visit this week will likely be dominated by the global economic crisis.
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Afghanistan

Barack of Afpakia

News The Wall Street Journal 17 February 2009
Military

Pragmatic Signals Foreshadow Tough Choices Ahead

Report 28 January 2009
This week, the Obama administration made three symbolic down payments on restoring balance and moderation to our national security policy. Yesterday, Defense Secretary Gates told the Senate Armed Services Committee that the Obama administration would have a focused and modest in regards to Afghanistan and defense acquisitions.  Finally, the Obama administration took steps to re-engage with the Muslim world, with Senator Mitchell’s arrival in the region and the positive response throughout the Middle East to Obama’s interview on Al Arabiya.
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Terrorism & National Security

A New Tone and Approach to the Muslim World

Report 27 January 2009
In his second week in office President Obama has begun to enact a new approach toward the Middle East and make good on his Inaugural address pledge: “To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect.”
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