Is it too early in the Obama Administration to start using the phrase “Obama Doctrine” or is a clear vision and accompanying strategy emerging?
Between laying out his strategy for the war in Afghanistan last week and delivering a surprising oration on the Just War tradition upon receiving his Nobel Peace Prize this week, a doctrine is taking shape.
Peter Beinart, Senior Schwartz fellow at the New America Foundation, has written an excellent piece in Time Magazine on Obama’s Afghanistan policy and what it says about his foreign policy vision. Beinart claims that Obama’s strategy of refocusing or downsizing the war on terror is “partly a function of personality and mostly a function of circumstance.”
President George W. Bush’s overconfidence in the United States’ ability to tackle “all terrorism-supporting movements and regimes” was based on an outmoded conception of U.S. military supremacy from the 1990s. But due to an overcommitted military and a poor domestic economy, the Obama Administration has been forced to reassess America’s power and role in the world.
In stark contrast to what Beinart calls President Bush’s “epic faith in the United States’ military, economic and ideological power,” the Obama administration realizes that it must make decisions based on America’s current economic and military limitations, as well as on an understanding of the diversity of ideologically driven groups facing the United States today.
TODAY at 3:30 pm EST, the New America Foundation will host a panel discussion on how the Obama Doctrine is taking shape.
The event will feature Peter Beinart; Glenn Kessler, Diplomatic Correspondent for the Washington Post; and David A. Sanger, Chief Washington Correspondent for the New York Times. Andres Martinez, director of the Bernard L. Schwartz fellows program at the New America Foundation will moderate.
This event will stream live here at The Washington Note.
— Faith Smith