reztrop wrote:What do you think of Obama's foreign policy record so far?
I'd give Hillary and Obama a "B" on foreign policy. Pretty good! They've been assisted by some pretty high calibre Republican appointments (Gates, Petraeus etc.). I'd give Obama a "D" on his handling of the domestic economy though.
He has eliminated top terrorist leaders and authorized far more drone strikes, with results to show for it, than the previous administration.
I think he has the last administration to thank for setting the foundations for this later success. But yes, I agree, more results (killing of OBL, regime changes in Libya etc.).
Second, Obama is turning American attention toward the Pacific.
I am very pleased with the US actions in this area (e.g., wanting to accede to the TPP, the bases in Australia etc.).
Obama is maintaining alliances with its Asian neighbors to keep the PRC in check.
This isn't anything new though. A strong Japan as a counterbalance to China, participation in SEATO from the 50s to 70s, longstanding regional alliances with Australia, Thailand, Philippines etc. has been a cornerstone of US policy for decades.
Compared to the Bush administration's butt-kissing of the PRC, this is a breath of fresh air.
I disagree. Alliances to counter China's influence have been longstanding and are nothing new. Furthermore, I would disagree with her term "butt-kissing of the PRC." You had a lot of Bush appointments that were pretty pro-Taiwan. Who serves as the current head of the US-Taiwan Business Council?
Answer: Paul Wolfowitz.
It's about time that the US pursue engagement with Burma......"Democracy first" in a poor, ethnically-fractured, strategically important country like Burma is a misguided policy.
I have mixed feelings on this issue. On one hand, Obama has been pro-active by first sending then-Senator Jim Webb a few years ago and now Hillary. Asian countries such as Singapore and Australia have been active in Burma for some time and countries that refuse to engage risk losing out in a market that has hardly been penetrated by outsiders.
On the other hand, I think the late Scoop Jackson, a Democrat neocon that mentored Republican advisors/appointments such as Perle, Wolfowitz, Abrams etc in the 70s when many were still Democrats, and the co-drafter of the Jackson-Vanik amendment, would be turning over in his grave. That trade bill in the 70s helped put another nail in the coffin of 'detente' with the USSR by linking human rights with trade. Many of the proponents of Jackson-Vanik in the 70s had prominent positions of power in the Reagan admin in the 80s that helped defeat the "Evil Empire."
By warmly engaging Burma and by considering repealing the Jackson-Vanik amendment in 2012 for Russia before it accedes to the WTO, the Obama administration is not putting enough pressure to prevent further backsliding on democratization, human rights and respect for the rule of law.