Sunday, November 16, 2008

The foreign policy consensus

Former Indian foreign secretary Kanwal Sibal -- seemingly channeling this blog -- throws water on the idea that Barack Obama's presidency will mark a significant change in how the United States deals with the rest of the world:
Because of its “soft power”, the US presidential election gets such extensive coverage internationally that its import gets exaggerated. This election decides the fate of two competing candidates, not that of the world. As in elections elsewhere, the central issues are domestic ones, not those of foreign policy. In the American case, the contest is not between two radically different visions of US foreign policy; it is about advancing US interests best. The difference is in tactics, not strategy. On basic assumptions, such as US global pre-eminence, preventing the emergence of any other power that can challenge Washington’s dominance, the goodness of US intentions and actions, superiority of American values, the responsibility to maintain international peace and stability, its exceptionalism providing the right to act unfettered by multilateral constraints if required and keeping America safe against non-proliferation, there is internal consensus in the US.
(Via the American Conservative's Daniel Larison)

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