Our Sort-of War on Terror: Obama’s policies are incoherent, but does anyone care?

Remember that thing called “foreign policy”? We don’t hear about it much any more since the evil George W. Bush is out of office, and both sides in the 2012 campaign ignored it completely. Here are two good articles on the topic:

Our Sort-of War on Terror: Obama’s policies are incoherent, but does anyone care?

By Victor Davis Hanson

Either by design or through incompetence, the Obama administration’s war on terror has become indefinable. In fact, to the degree that there are identifiable policies, they seem either internally contradictory or at odds with other administration policies.

[…]To the extent that anyone could define the present anti-terrorism policy, it might be paraphrased along the following lines: “We rejected these protocols when, as outside critics, there was partisan advantage in doing so. But after assuming office, we found them useful, embraced most of them and even expanded some, preferred to ignore that about-face, assumed that the global and the domestic Left would not object any longer — given that their opposition was more to Bush than to his policies per se — and wish to continue these measures even as we keep quiet about them.”

Read the article..

Not Really Realistic

By Thomas Donnelly

Periodically, and almost from the day he became a serious presidential candidate, editorialists, pundits, academics, and reporters have described Barack Obama’s foreign policy as a return to “realism.” Essayist and self-described realist Robert Kaplan, to take just one example, argues that this is something like a natural recalibration, a return to geographic and historical inevitabilities.

The opposite of realism, in this straw-man structure, is “idealism,” or “Wilsonian idealism.” For realists, idealism is like a bad pair of eyeglasses, lenses that not only focus on impossibly utopian goals but also prevent a clear assessment of the balance of power. In its full political-science costume, realism is also supposed to be a description of the way power actually works. It’s supposed to be capable of predicting outcomes.

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