Bob Kagan on Obama


I missed this, but Kagan likes the tone of Obama's internationalism. Matt Yglesias sounds a note of caution here. I've been impressed with Obama's foreign policy vision. It sure isn't isolationist or pacifist. But I should add that Kagan's dichotomy between "realism" and "internationalism" is a bit of a canard. The critique of Bush is not that he is somehow too internationalist. It is that he is incompetent at internationalism, failed to do due diligence before launching a vital war, and refused to adjust when adjustment was necessary. Part of the critique must also now surely be that nation-building in an Islamic country can fail to grasp the nature of the enemy we're facing. It's more like a disease than an army. And imprudent warfare - and how can the Iraq fiasco be called anything else? - may actually worsen the disease rather than cure it. Certainly the medicine of brute force is not enough. That is surely the lesson of Iraq. That doesn't mean no use of force; but it must mean a much more chastened deployment of it. I think Obama has that chastening almost in his bones. Marty seems to agree. A prediction: there will be some reconstructed neocons in Obama's team at some point.

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