Its not difficult to understand what informs the current Obama administration as it seeks to discover the ‘field of intelligibility’ in foreign affairs. Obama see’s statecraft as a zero sum game. He’s viewing the craft of power relations in a unhistorical manner. This is similar to Oriental Buddhist third world political economies that never developed a distinct political craft. Witness Cambodia today as it struggles to wade out of its genocidal past. Absent a distinct craft of politics, it will remain paralyzed. The current informing ideals that harness the Obama administration are similar in both scope, intent, and consequence. Perhaps they were fitting for the first Clinton administration but not for our contemporary problems of a nuclear Iran!
If Obama is not a humble fast learner, quick to turn around previously held assumptions, then America is going to be permanently weakened as other international players scrimmage for position in our absence. Will he discern a weakening of America? My guess is that Obama is quite archaic in his intellectual posture. He will seek addressing grievances along historicist lines. This is happening already domestically. But will it work internationally? My guess is that Obama is about the be confounded by the enormity of his challenge in the Near East and Central Asia. We’re about to witness the public display of this man’s character. Character is fate!
An approach grounded in historical grievance is a false promise of political hope. Its also profoundly unhistorical, given the gains made since Lincoln. How to explain this intellectual breech?
Obama is a politician outside American exceptionalism. He’s a dilettante informed from an unhistorical passionate ratio. Here’s the danger: our enemies live in a deadly world where political craft is a zero sum game. Most of the world has been dominated by a benevolent hegemon creating and enforcing an order whose balance of power favors the West! The regional balance of power must be maintained in favor of peach through strength. This is the Pax Americana. But it comes with a cost. The cost is the blood demonstrated in commitment to such ideals. Yes, its stressful to uphold, but the alternative is even more deadly.
We’re about to witness the emergence of other deadly powers seeking to redress such a balance. IT WILL BE UGLY!
As the impression of American power wanes, we will get a foretaste of post American disorder. Can you say ‘CAMBODIA, VIETNAM.’ A struggle has begun, just witness the emergence of Turkey and Brazil in its current arrangement with Iran.
The Obama administration is beholden to the illusion or the trappings intrinsic to idealist power. It believes that it can ‘contain’ threats with diplomacy, deterrence or drones. As we decamp, our allies and other non-aligned yet strategically significant actors will seek their own accommodation absent American resolve.
We simply cannot recover from this position. To do so would mean engagement. Looks like Obama is tying down future Presidents.
Unless he changes course immediately, we’re about to get slaughtered!