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The Second Term FP Team

[ 23 ] November 16, 2012 |

The President is never entirely free to choose his foreign policy team, but Obama has a great deal of latitude for the second term:

The upshot is that the Obama administration begins its second term with much greater foreign policy freedom of action, whether in domestic, strategic, or bureaucratic terms. If Obama wants to follow through on the “pivot” to Asia, he should have the freedom to do so. The first year of the second term should demonstrate how seriously Obama intends to pursue a redistribution of military and diplomatic effort towards Asia. An early indicator will be who the president taps to replace Petraeus at CIA, as well as how the administration handles sequestration. For those either anticipating or dreading a larger U.S. commitment to Asia, uncertainty shouldn’t last long.

One way of interpreting the attention paid to the Benghazi imbroglio is as an effort to cripple the second term team.


Comments (23)

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  1. J. Otto Pohl says:

    It might be nice if the “pivot” to Asia ended the US government’s unconditional support of Israel. Now that he has won reelection Obama has an opportunity to do the right thing and oppose the current Israeli attack on Gaza. Instead he has supported it. He has the opportunity to support nonmember statehood for Palestine in the UN which will allow them to bring cases in front of the ICC. He has instead attempted to browbeat Abbas into delaying the application. On the issue of Palestine there is no difference between the “liberal” Obama and the “right-wing” Romney. LGM has not issued a word on the subject since Israel began its latest assault on the children of Gaza. If it was Romney rather than Obama supporting the Israeli attack I think things might be different.

  2. Manta says:

    LGM (more precisely, Erik) did say something on the subject.

  3. Oh, yeah, the second term foreign policy team.

    What Farley says about Obama’s success in his first term giving him more freedom of action, and not having to play “defensive politics,” applies not just to his second term, but more generally to Democratic Presidents going forward. George Bush started the job of demolishing the Republicans’ half-century political dominance in that area, and Obama is finishing it.

    People who turned 18 after 2008 are going to have to be taught that it ever existed. They’re going to look at such obnoxious silliness as the mockery of Al Gore and John Kerry’s service records and have no context with which to understand why anyone paid the slightest attention.

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