National Security Network

One Hundred Blog Items

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News Tapped 27 April 2009

National Security Network

Written by Tim Fernholz

Breathless 100-days coverage sucks and I hate it, though not enough to prevent me from writing two forthcoming analysis pieces pegged to the topic. Nonetheless, the media's love of arbitrarily pleasing numbers doesn't make for a very substantive discussion of anything. Is there a connection between the stimulus debate's arbitrary "lop off a solid $100 billion" strategy and the "one hundred days" meme? Discuss.

Venting aside, the National Security Network has done something interesting for the occasion, namely, putting together a list of 100 Obama administration foreign policy accomplishments. It's worth looking at. Here are a few under-appreciated items worth noting:

    10. At a recent Pakistan donor’s conference in Tokyo, the U.S. secured aid commitments of roughly $5bn “to bolster the country's economy and help it fight terror and Islamic radicalism.”

    54. President Obama’s proposed defense budget offers the largest increase for veterans funding in 30 years.

    99. In a move reminiscent of Henry Kissinger’s successful effort to bring the U.S. the 1994 World Cup, President Obama delivered a message to FIFA imploring soccer’s governing body to grant the U.S. the right to host the Cup again in 2018 or 2022.

Even though it's still pretty amazing how much has actually been accomplished since January 20, the fact that a lot of these accomplishments still have a long way to go before completion -- a "proposed defense budget" is not a defense budget yet -- sort of undermines the whole analytical frame. Still, kudos to NSN for coming up with something more concrete than Politico, which provides this sort of discussion: "The politics of personality drove the first 100 days, but there were issues, too."