January 14, 2009
Obama/Clinton On Nonexisting Iranian Nuke Programs
We judge with high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program; ...
National Intelligence Etimate: Iran: Nuclear Intentions and
Capabilities (pdf), Dec 3, 2007
[W]e have a situation in which not only is Iran exporting terrorism through Hamas, through Hezbollah, but they are pursuing a nuclear weapon that could potentially trigger a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.
Exclusive Interview with President-Elect Barack Obama, Jan 11, 2009
As we focus on Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan, we must also actively pursue a strategy of smart power in the Middle East that addresses the security needs of Israel and the legitimate political and economic aspirations of the Palestinians; that effectively challenges Iran to end its nuclear weapons program and sponsorship of terror, and persuades both Iran and Syria to abandon their dangerous behavior and become constructive regional actors; that strengthens our relationships with Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, other Arab states, with Turkey, and with our partners in the Gulf to involve them in securing a lasting peace in the region.
Hillary Clinton's Statement at Senate Confirmation Hearing, Jan 13, 2009
CLINTON: Well, thank you, Mr. Chairman. Obviously, the incoming administration views with great concern the role that Iran is playing in the world, its sponsorship of terrorism, its continuing interference with the functioning of other governments and its pursuit of nuclear weapons.
We are not taking any option off the table at all, but we will pursue a new, perhaps different approach that will become a cornerstone of what the Obama administration believes is an attitude toward engagement that might bear fruit.
Senate Confirmation Hearing: Hillary Clinton , Jan. 13, 2009
Perhaps different approach?
Posted by b on January 14, 2009 at 01:55 PM | Permalink
Nothing has changed. They are no position to carry out any "military" option and yet are too stubborn to consider normalization. Two reasons why they are stubborn.
1) The pro Israel lobby will balk at any normalization between the U.S. and iran as that would give the U.S. a "competing" strategic asset.
2) Besides that, Any normalization means that the U.S. has to share security of the Persian Gulf with Iran. The U.S. does not share, especially the Persian Gulf.
And so...change really means more of the same. Nothing dramatic either way is likely, but If I had to bet on an outcome, rapprochement is more likely than war.
Posted by: Lysander | Jan 14, 2009 2:12:24 PM | 1
There will be a repeat of the intelligence wars of the last eight years, but on a lower decibel level, with Leon Panetta's role pivotal, and, of course, that of the NYT and WaPo. Panetta's appointment was a shock to neocons, some recovering on the dime, others, not so fast. Feinstein, for one, was a spectacle, perhaps mollified by promise to retain some embeds.
Obama/Panetta made a big show of advocating clean intelligence, but who knows, eh? The Israelis and their US leghumpers will not be pleased with that. And from the Gates Pentagon, hard to see the likes of the OSP welcome mat for Israeli generals. Anyway, for fans of micropolitics, a fascinating six months ahead for Panetta and Obama.
Pennies in the mud for the heavy thinkers here, I know.
Posted by: Thrasyboulos | Jan 14, 2009 2:44:06 PM | 2
Rappochement with mullahs? How?
Posted by: par4 | Jan 14, 2009 2:44:48 PM | 3
"the smarties" (as opposed to "the crazies") envision that a different approach incorporates the appearance of multilateralism
we're going to be looking broadly, but in consultation. And I want to underscore that, because it's very important that those who have to live in the region, many of whom are allies, Israel and others who have a legitimate set of concerns about Iran's growing power and its use of that power, should know that the Obama administration will be consulting broadly and deeply.
So that when we move, we will move in concert insofar as possible
Posted by: b real | Jan 14, 2009 3:18:45 PM | 4
That is something I have feared:
The Chickenhawks did not invent the "Iran has Nukes"-Meme to bomb them themselfes - instead they invented it to poison a (then possible, now incoming) democrat administration:
If Obama does not push Iran because of the nonexisting nukes, he will be called "weak".
If Obama pushes Iran, Iran will deny everything, leaving him the choice of either stepping down the claims (see above) or "do something" about it.
If Obama "does something" by bombing Iran, he will achieve nothing but alienating the world further (imaginary nukes are never where the bombs just fell).
If Obama "does something" by Invasion... well we saw how this did turn out in Irak, only that the Iranians are less likely to target each other - meaning they have more ammo to spare for the invader. And of course there are a whole lot more of them.
If McCain had won the race, the "Iranian nukes" might have been silently forgotten for say six or seven years...
Posted by: No So Ana | Jan 14, 2009 3:23:48 PM | 5
The Iranian blustering is more a sign of fear than anything else. A deal which would give them security would be signed by the mullahs, provided they can trust the other party. If the other party is the US, however, they will remember the imaginary reasons for the invasion of Iraq - meaning they will not easily trust the US.
Posted by: No So Ana | Jan 14, 2009 3:30:12 PM | 6
Mar 2, 2007. . .Obama: The world must work to stop Iran’s uranium enrichment program and prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons
National Intelligence Estimate, Dec 4, 2007 . . .. We judge with high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program
IAEA Report, May 26, 2008: "The Agency has been able to continue to verify the non-diversion of declared nuclear material in Iran."
July 25, 2008 . .Democratic Sen. Barack Obama, nearing the end of an international campaign trip, warned Iran today, "don't wait for the next president" to take office before yielding to Western demands to dismantle its nuclear weapons program. . .Iran poses "an extraordinarily grave situation." He said the world must send "a clear message to Iran to end its illicit nuclear program."
NPT: "Nothing in this Treaty shall be interpreted as affecting the inalienable right of all the Parties to the Treaty to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination and in conformity with articles I and II of this Treaty."
Sep 6, 2008 ...Iran is a “major threat” and it would be “unacceptable” for the rogue nation to develop a nuclear weapon, Barack Obama said
IAEA Report, September 15, 2008: "The Agency has been able to continue to verify the non-diversion of declared nuclear material in Iran. Iran has provided the Agency with access to declared nuclear material and has provided the required nuclear material accounting reports in connection with declared nuclear material and activities."
Oct 2, 2008 . . .Obama: "The American people weren't just failed by a President - they were failed by much of Washington. By a media that too often reported spin instead of facts. . .I will always tell the American people the truth."
Nov 7, 2008 ... U.S. President-elect Barack Obama said in Chicago on Friday that Iran's development of nuclear weapons is unacceptable.
IAEA Report on Iran, Nov 19, 2008 -- "The Agency has been able to continue to verify the non-diversion of declared nuclear material in Iran. Iran has provided the Agency with access to declared nuclear material and has provided the required nuclear material accounting reports in connection with declared nuclear material and activities."
Dec 7, 2008 . . .Obama: "We need to ratchet up tough but direct diplomacy with Iran, making very clear to them that their development of nuclear weapons would be unacceptable"
Jan 11, 2009 . . .Obama: "[Iran is] pursuing a nuclear weapon that could potentially trigger a nuclear arms race."
Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 14, 2009 6:31:05 PM | 7
Forget Iran. The nuclear problem is Pakistan. The command and control of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal is the most important nuclear related issue today by far and one of the most important issues in the world period.
Not only because of the possibility of non state actors getting control of them, including within the Pakistani military, but also because of the possibility of an exchange with India. The results of which would be the greatest horror in world history and set the stage for their further use by others.
If Iran went balls out to make a weapon and make one missle deploy-able one would take at the very very least 5 years. In all likelyhood it would not work. In any case the only possible target they have is Israel. Who would fire back with absolutely reliable weapons and destroy Irans major cities, and all their elites. In other words MAD.
The deterrent effect of nuclear weapons was one of the most intensively studied political subject in history. The possession of nukes carries with it a built in brake on any military aggression. Iran possessing nukes is far more a shame than a threat.
Posted by: rapier | Jan 14, 2009 7:04:38 PM | 8
right on, don bacon
Posted by: slothrop | Jan 14, 2009 7:04:45 PM | 9
Nice post, thanks for laying it out nice and neat.
Posted by: David | Jan 14, 2009 7:27:55 PM | 10
IMO, dog whistling neocons and their media/congress allies past the election and confirmation hearings means little to nothing at this point. IMO.
I suppose one can emphasize the Obama/Panetta call for "clean intelligence" too much, as well as too little. Certainly both went out of their way to make the point. On the other hand, Obama is a certified liar, so you never know.
Posted by: Thrasyboulos | Jan 14, 2009 7:54:07 PM | 11
US is a security state and it needs to have at least one enemy and pretend that that enemy can do some damage to the US. Or the whole drama has no meaning for the people. This works for both parties.
Iran has nothing to fight the US but the US media and the establishment would continue to pretend that Iran is a formidable enemy.
I suspect that to keep the meme alive, if needed, the Establishment would probably find some accommodating Pakistanis to lend a few nukes to Iran.
Posted by: Hoss | Jan 14, 2009 7:54:25 PM | 12
It is a very effective form. Thanks.
Posted by: Malooga | Jan 14, 2009 7:54:25 PM | 13
Posted by: annie | Jan 14, 2009 8:33:55 PM | 14
Don Bacon 7) - That's quid pro quo for a schvartze getting past the AIPAC vetting, and HillBillary's setting themselves up as international kingpins of kickback, on $35,000M State grifts from American taxpayers every year. That's about two weeks of groceries from every working American so that Hillary to shoot her big mouth off, all on top of a year's worth of groceries to DOD/DHS/NASA we each bleed out, every one of US, so Obama can bang on his tin drum and HillBillary's can make a Gold Package grease-the-slag powerplay in the Middle East, to pad their pockets for the 2012 election campaign. HillBillary's gotta philter $135M out of that $35B!
It's just business. They won, we all lost. Get over it.
Focus on our own disabilities.
Posted by: Looming Tendencies | Jan 14, 2009 10:39:13 PM | 15
Win the Zionist Green Card Lottery! Get a free pass to America for your Israeli family, all expenses paid!!
The AIPAC sponsored, Congressionally mandated "Diversity Immigrant Visa Program" is administered on an annual basis by the Department of State and conducted under the terms of Section 203(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Section 131 of the Immigration Act of 1990 (Pub. L. 101-649) amended INA 203 to provide for a new class of immigrants known as "diversity immigrants" (DV immigrants). The Act makes available 50,000 permanent resident visas annually to persons from countries with "low rates of immigration to the United States." ["ZION"]
Wait, it gets better! There's a back door!
USCIS Finalizes Streamlining Procedures for H-2B Temporary Non-agricultural Worker Program
Posted by: Beula Basé | Jan 14, 2009 11:56:18 PM | 16
You are wrong when you say they won and we lost. The problem is between your ears. If you choose to be a loser then you will be.
Try some Thoreau:
"The news we hear, for the most part, is not news to our genius. It is the stalest repetition. . .If you chance to live and move and have your being in that thin stratum in which the events that make the news transpire--thinner than the paper on which it is printed--then these things will fill the world for you; but if you soar above or dive below that plane, you cannot remember nor be reminded of them. Really to see the sun rise or go down every day, so to relate ourselves to a universal fact, would preserve us sane forever."--Henry David Thoreau, Life Without Principle
Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 14, 2009 11:59:10 PM | 17
Interesting comments from everyone. My own view is that Iran is recreating its Persian Gulf empire with the relentless assistance of American stupidity. Everything America (or should I say, the U.S.A., since my Latin American friends object fiercely to being lumped together with the U.S.) has done for the past 60 years has succeeded in alienating neutral Arabs and isolating U.S.-friendly Arab dictatorships, thereby making each country in the region ripe for the picking and inviting the Mullahs to gather the spoils.
This situation isn't going to change with an Obambi victory, as his entire foreign policy team is pro-Israel and even includes AIPAC members/fund-raisers/speechwriters/lobbyists, while consciously excluding people like the brilliant Samantha Power who tore the Bush Israel-policy to pieces on BBC's HardTalk during the primaries. Since Power, Obama's chief foreign policy advisor, was forced to resign for calling Hillary Clinton a 'monster' I believe this fact alone qualifies her to shape U.S. foreign policy vis-a-vis Israel (and I'm only half-kidding).
Iran? The U.S. has already conceded defeat to the Mullahs in all but writing: "We won't allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons, bla-bla-bla". Iran 'owns' of Iraq already by proxy. The only chance the U.S. had of co-opting Iran was to support the popularly elected Khomeini regime back in 1978 (before the hostage crisis, which would then never have occurred), to offer its support but to press gently and steadily for human rights. None of the horrors of the past 30 years would have if the U.S. had shown 'maturity' instead of acting like a baby and throwing its toys out of the cot.
Posted by: Parviz | Jan 15, 2009 5:55:51 AM | 18
Sorry for the typos, but I had to dash and now am back (:-(
As I explained in detail on thread 09-01 Iran would never use a nuclear weapon even if it had one (or many). Ahmadinejad doesn't hold the real power, and NOT EVEN HE threatened to destroy Israel. The Mullahs can "remove the Israeli apartheid state from the pages of time" through a war of attrition. They don't need to 'bomb' it and invite Armageddon.
As for us poor slobs living in Iran, we can only hope that time mellows the regime and it gains enough self-confidence and sense of security to allow educated people to run the country once more, develop the country's extraordinary economic potential and seriously fight corruption, etc.,. as China has done.
Posted by: Parviz | Jan 15, 2009 6:18:13 AM | 19
It's hard to tell what's up Obama's sleeve at this point in time, but whatever it is, it better not be a hat full of neocon tricks. Otherwise, all of us from the grass/net-roots have been had in a very down-and-dirty way!
Posted by: Cynthia | Jan 15, 2009 7:40:52 AM | 20
You ask how.
Well, it's quite straightforward really - you go through the teeth-grinding, tedious, boring process of sitting down and talking, starting with the issues that you actually can agree on, of which there are no shortage, in the expectation that talks lead to substantive practical arrangements on the ground. Over time, you branch out into the areas of disagreement/dispute/friction/conflict.
Nothing arcane about any of this. It remains to be seen whether the Obama administration will persist in the "surrender first, and then maybe, if you're lucky...." approach that the Bush administration has clung to.
Broadly speaking, it doesn't help if you get stuck in essentialist modes of thinking regarding "mullahs" - both Rafsanjani in 1992 and Khatami in 1997 sought rapprochement with the US, both are "mullahs" at the heart of the Iranian clerical establishment.
Don - a choice golden oldie for your collection from the Feb. 1995 issue of Nucleonics week:
"Thomas Graham, a senior official of the US ACDA says that Iran has "no current programme" for the development of weapons-grade nuclear material. However..US government has reached the conclusion that Iran intends to develop a nuclear weapons capability in the future....Graham says that Iran is in full compliance with its NNPT obligations."
Posted by: dan | Jan 15, 2009 10:05:03 AM | 21
Just because we want you to stick around here doen't mean we agree with you ;-)
Powers advocates -- I should really say, specializes in -- "humanitarian" warfare, and her foreign policy would no more just, although her targets would be different. In any event, she has been groomed to assume policy and public affairs roles for a long time and she will be back, you can bet on it.
It is a common technique of political speech in the US to savage the opponents' policies leaving the public to believe, implicitly, that yours would be different, when they would not. In any event, arguments are always over tactics, not justice.
A politician can say Bush "botched Iraq." It is beyond the bounds of the permissible to say that "US actions towards Iraq are illegal and immoral, and we must grant the Iraqis the authority to handle their own affairs without our influence, and we must pay restitutions for the war crimes committed and millions of people killed because of our invasion." That is not considered "serious" speech, and no paper would print it, nor media would air it, except to ridicule the naivete of it.
I know that you do not like the mullahs; I'm not saying that I would -- but I do not see Iran using any aggressive power, only soft influence, to extend their influence.
Considering that it is explicit US policy to topple their government and install a neo-liberal client regime controlling their natural resources, and that they are encircled by US troops and treatened every day, can you, or anyone else, blame them for their international actions. They seem far more moral than any other nation's these days.
Can you clarify: Are you writing from Iran? Somehow, I was under the impression that you reside in London these days.
Posted by: Malooga | Jan 15, 2009 10:34:58 AM | 22
Israel has NUKES and is a proven rogue state out of control.
Every other state is ENTITLED to have them . You have no right to stop them. Are Arabs unstable. Is the US stable.
Disarm Israel or grow up. We all get the big boys toys.
Posted by: boindub | Jan 15, 2009 10:51:32 AM | 23
@ Cynthia # 20 - possibly you may enjoy Fafblog's July 2008 posting on Obama - "Change you can suspend your disbelief in" - http://tinyurl.com/55v9yn
See my own blog for my expressed hope that Obama is a particular kind of skilled liar. It looks like he is a different kind of skilled liar - but if he's REALLY skilled, it WOULD look like that, wouldn't it?
Posted by: mistah charley, ph.d. | Jan 15, 2009 10:59:16 AM | 24
There is a list of links at Billmon's wikipedia entry. I thought b had a collection somewhere, too.
viz. Tibet: I'm sure you have read Parenti's Friendly Feudalism: The Tibet Myth and Shamir's Buddha Nativity.
All in all, judging by the historical record, the Dalai Lama could not have done a worse job of preserving the geographic integrity and religious continuity of his people. He has done on admirable job of scattering them around the globe in positions of influence. In truth, he is following the post-Holocaust Jewish model, and we can see where that type of thinking leads.
Posted by: Malooga | Jan 15, 2009 11:12:00 AM | 25
Disarm Israel or grow up.
I am in favor of disarming the US first.
Posted by: Malooga | Jan 15, 2009 11:14:14 AM | 26
How smart can this "new" smart power be when they start with wrong facts? Or, is precisely that cynicism in stating repetitively with utter calm and a face of feigned confidence the claims that you know are false which is "smart power"? If so, we had that for 8 years, and change=0.
Posted by: Zemoralist | Jan 15, 2009 11:31:30 AM | 27
It's hard to tell what's up Obama's sleeve at this point in time, but whatever it is, it better not be a hat full of neocon tricks. Otherwise, all of us from the grass/net-roots have been had in a very down-and-dirty way!
You've been had. Case closed. Obama's a liar, and he gulled you and others. You've been hoodwinked.
Posted by: micah pyre | Jan 15, 2009 11:51:35 AM | 28
The only ones who've been had are the ones that wanted to be had. When Obama was snarfing up 140 million of Walls Street crook money (a year or so after Wesley Clark committed the unpardonable sin of claiming that Wall Street "bankers" were financing politicians to push for an attack on Iran), when Obama made the pilgrimage to AIPAC to grab major ankle in front of zionist jews, when Obama stood with Lawrence Summers and Robert Rubin to excoriate lack of regulation on Wall Street as the recent financial conflagration got going for good, who the hell can claim now that they've been had? That Obama disappointed by picking Clinton and Geithner?
The only ones who've been had are the ones with their eyes closed, or the starry eyed innocents who haven't looked past Obama's pigment (I know a few). Now, they're moaning like Obama slid a slippery one up the ying yang when they weren't looking. Grow the fuck up.
Posted by: Thrasyboulos | Jan 15, 2009 12:24:18 PM | 29
I hate to be flippant, but I can see the coming conspiracy theories; A NBO (New Buddha Order) with all those little monks and their shaved heads running around with automatic weapons and tanks. All media will come out of Buddhawood, and TibetPac will be funneling millions of dollars (and thoughtful reflections) to congress. But think of those billions of poor repressed chinese living in squaller in refugee camps...
america has done worse and will do worser. I can't believe worser is even a word but it describes what's coming perfectly. It's gonna be worser before it gets better.
Reading about obama sounds more and more like talking about bill clinton. If you were to put clinton's name, rather than obama's, in most stories and post it would be like deja vu 1990's; except for all that damn financial crap...
Posted by: David | Jan 15, 2009 12:24:35 PM | 30
Thrasyboulos @ 30 --
I agree with that appraisal. Obama's intent was discernible from his acts, not from his words. His appointments, his staff choices, his advisory choices, his funding sources. His track record as a US Senator. His track record as a human being post-law school. His lobbying for Exelon. His eager adoption of the "machine" politics of Chicago.
Yet still, there are those like Cynthia who wanted to believe. How did they arrive at that point? Naivete? Optimism which transcends the factual record? Stupidity?
Those of us who hope for something better are forced to ask ourselves, how do we prevent so many Cynthias from arising?
Posted by: micah pyre | Jan 15, 2009 12:27:29 PM | 31
in my opinion, total pessimism is as unwarranted as total optimism. I don't blame people for having hoped (;-), just for giving over to one to the detriment of the other, then giving in to despair. it's easy to miss some things that may prove to be important
Posted by: Thrasyboulos | Jan 15, 2009 12:47:56 PM | 32
If, that is, we're talking politics as she is played, and not some excursion into the realms of idealism.
Posted by: Thrasyboulos | Jan 15, 2009 1:09:30 PM | 33
Mistah Charley and Micah Pyre,
Dennis Kucinich is a lone voice in the wilderness -- on Capitol Hill, that is...
Here he is again telling it like it is on Democracy Now!
Let me point out that my political views aren't much different from those of most Americans. So I'm unclear as to why Kucinich and his ilk come from a breed of lawmakers who are teetering on the edge of extinction -- in the Halls of Congress, that is. The overwhelming majority of our elected and appointed public servants in Washington have no interest in looking after the interest of ordinary Americans. They instead bend over backwards to please those at the very top of the economic food chain and those who profit mightily from the so-called war on terror here and abroad, leaving the rest of us to fend for ourselves. Unless you've been living in a cave somewhere for the last decade or so, it should be clear as day to you that our political elites are seeking to create a nation of a few haves and many have-nots with nothing in between.
As to why this is so, my best guess is that those in power in Washington believe, rightly or wrongly, that there won't be enough natural (and unnatural) resources around in the very near future to maintain a strong and vibrant middle class. So they have chosen to sacrifice those in the middle for those at the top so that at least a few of us can live and enjoy a comfortable life.
Posted by: Cynthia | Jan 15, 2009 5:19:44 PM | 34
Malooga, no, I'm not a 'parlour exile' telling the State Department what it wants to hear! I reside permanently in Iran and only travel abroad occasionally for business or private matters. b can easily confirm from my IP that I reside in Iran.
I don't quite understand your 'but' as in "but I do not see Iran using any aggressive power, only soft influence, to extend their influence", because we actually agree 100 % on this point. The Mullahs use soft power a) so as not to leave a trace and risk repercussions, and b) because they think in 'decades', not in terms of the 'Quarterly', and therefore believe that all they have to do is to wait and let the U.S. and Israel hang themselves, which is precisely what the latter are doing so eagerly and effectively.
As for Samantha Power, your words in God's ear! I hope she makes a comeback, because I've rarely seen anyone tearing Stephen Sacker (BBC HardTalk) to pieces as she did in countering every accusation instantly and forthrightly. I would love to see her sitting across the table from Israel and reading the riot act to Tipsy Pipsy.
As for my credibility, you don't have to agree with everything I write, only that I write from the heart. I am one of many Iranians residing in Iran who hates the U.S. and the Mullahs in equal measure. If you lived here you'd understand the apparent self-contradiction.
Posted by: Parviz | Jan 15, 2009 5:32:41 PM | 35
Whoops! My #26 accidentally went on the wrong thread. That was why it was so OT. Sorry.....
Posted by: Malooga | Jan 15, 2009 7:18:06 PM | 36
BREAKING NEWS: Obama proposes grandiose $850B Department of National Reconstruction, offers Director Cabinet position to Steve Ballmer, seen here singing the praises of the Grand Obama Buildout, and all the benefits that will bring to "private enterprise".
Posted by: Telly Yosarian | Jan 15, 2009 9:18:34 PM | 37
if Obama turns out to be the president whose term/s coincides with the demise of the Southern-Strategists, then nobody's been had. We have all (regardless of race) paid a huge price for the ascendancy of the Southern-Strategists. Obama does'nt even have to be a great president. He just has to be good enough to honor the political shift thats underway in America as a result of changing demographics and the realignment of aspirations amongst America's youth. The shift is well underway and at this moment in history, it comes down to whether we want a President who obstructs delays and demonizes it (McCain/Palin) or one who does not.
as much as we would like to see major change from the political top, the reality is that America is just not ready for it. The good news though is that that our efforts today serve a very real & critical purpose --- laying the foundation so demographics & Americas youth can take it much further than we could ever dare to hope for in this generation.
Posted by: jony_b_cool | Jan 16, 2009 9:16:05 AM | 39
How smart can this "new" smart power be when they start with wrong facts?
good point, but facts are largely irrelevant in the scheme of 'smart power' - it's largely about image & perception
here's where the thinking on this comes from
A Smarter, More Secure America
Report of the CSIS Commission on Smart Power
co-chaired by richard armitage & joseph nye, published on november 6, 2007
America's image and influence are in decline around the world. To maintain a leading role in global affairs, the United States must move from eliciting fear and anger to inspiring optimism and hope.
In 2006, CSIS launched a bipartisan Commission on Smart Power to develop a vision to guide America's global engagement. This report lays out the commission's findings and a discrete set of recommendations for how the next president of the United States, regardless of political party, can implement a smart power strategy.
from the rpt
What is Smart power?
Smart power is neither hard nor soft -- it is the skillful combination of both. Smart power means developing an integrated strategy, resource base, and tool kit to achieve American objectives, drawing on both hard and soft power. It is an approach that underscores the necessity of a strong military, but also invests in alliances, partnerships, and institutions at all levels to expand American influence and establish the legitimacy of American action.
what is their definition of power?
Power is the ability to influence the behavior of others to get a desired outcome.
what is hard power?
Hard power enables countries to wield carrots and sticks to get what they want.
and soft power?
Soft power is the ability to attact people to our side without coercion.
"honest o" (h/t to lizard) is to imperialism what 'new coke' was to old coke. a little sweeter on the tongue (obama speaks w/ high yellow fructose syrup on his) & a lot of marketing sizzle, but inevitably resulting in even greater demand for coke classic.
Posted by: b real | Jan 18, 2009 3:31:52 AM | 40
Good points, and I agree with you. It's realistic to look at this as a major gain in the long run, and Obama's time in office can mark the end of a very poisonous period in our politics.
Posted by: Copeland | Jan 18, 2009 3:45:29 AM | 41
Smart Power is praiseworthy in its intent, but it's naïve to imagine that America can transform itself and the rest of the world merely through a change of leadership and a slight 'tweak' of foreign policy.
Obama may be able to change political course slightly, but a lasting change of direction will be stymied unless cultural change occurs from the bottom up. This would require enormous changes in high school curricula, a more balanced reporting of global events (including the causes of terrorism) in the mass media and, finally, rejection of a culture of violence that feeds the politicians’ worst instincts.
Finally, for 'Smart Power' to succeed the political goals have to be changed. America would have to place other countries' interests at least on a par with (and not subjugated to) its own, which may mean losing its control over oil supplies, etc.,.
We shouldn't over-simplify the solution by thinking that 'Smart Power' will bring any lasting change.
Posted by: Parviz | Jan 18, 2009 4:45:55 AM | 42