The Obama Doctrine

The American Prospect's Spencer Ackerman has a reported essay about the scope and vision of Barack Obama's foreign policy. It's a provocative read. Note how the foreign policy team seems to consciously be operating against the 2004 rubric of "the politics of fear."

They envision a doctrine that first ends the politics of fear and then moves beyond a hollow, sloganeering "democracy promotion" agenda in favor of "dignity promotion," to fix the conditions of misery that breed anti-Americanism and prevent liberty, justice, and prosperity from taking root. An inextricable part of that doctrine is a relentless and thorough destruction of al-Qaeda. Is this hawkish? Is this dovish? It's both and neither -- an overhaul not just of our foreign policy but of how we think about foreign policy. And it might just be the future of American global leadership.

Ackerman notices how certain grievances and perspectives link Obama's fo-po advisers to each other. They've all been outsiders, rather than insiders. They have a history of seeking advice from those outside their comfort zones. And they almost all have a preference for "dignity promotion" over the type of "freedom" and "democracy" promotion that the Bush Administration wants to be known for.