Obama and his aides have described the tenets of his foreign policy as emphasizing "mutual interest and mutual respect" and the idea that global diplomacy functions on the principles of "rights and responsibilities" of sovereign nations.
He has delivered four major foreign policy addresses explaining these themes -- his nuclear nonproliferation speech in Prague; his outreach to the Muslim world in Cairo; his offer of U.S. support to the developing world (tempered with a reminder that nations are responsible for their futures) in Accra, Ghana; and his call for global cooperation at the U.N. General Assembly last month.
In the next few weeks, Barack Obama will make a decision that will define his presidency. Will he escalate the war in Afghanistan, sending 40,000 additional US soldiers to reinforce the 68,000 already there to engage in an open-ended, nation-building counterinsurgency mission? Or will he redefine US objectives and ask his advisers to craft an alternative strategy?For now, however, the administration should be pushed hard to explain the purpose and logic of increasing US involvement. Until it does, any escalation has failed the very test Obama established: "absolute clarity about what the strategy is going to be..."
Friday's Choice -- Bob Dylan singing "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue" -- goes out to Editilla: