Greetings from Chestertown, Maryland where I’m currently tallying up President Obama’s recent foreign policy achievements vs. failures and challenges left on the table. I spend a lot of time thinking about US-Cuba policy (in fact, today the Cuban Interests Section celebrates the anniversary of the Cuban Revolution), Israel/Palestine, Syria, Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, and other parts of the world.
I do think that there are noticeable strengths on the Obama national security team, but the most important thing that the President himself has to remember and implement is his mantra from the campaign still often recounted by David Axelrod, “good policy is good politics.”
There is no way to look at the Middle East mess we still have before us — or our policy with Cuba — believing that the President is insisting on good policy trumping his political advisers.
More soon — but I wanted to wish everyone on whatever side of whatever line you may be in these policy debates a fantastic new year.
— Steve Clemons