Obama and the Search for Audacity
Like too many of our presidents, Obama entered the White House with little experience in national security and limited knowledge of the decision
makers in previous administrations. Obama correctly perceived the Iraq War as the “wrong war,” but he misperceived the Afghan War as the “good war.” He soon realized that both wars were hurting U.S. interests and that his national security team—Obama’s team—would not stand up to the Pentagon’s powerful military commanders. He should have followed his vice president, Joe Biden, who warned that Secretary of Defense Gates and his senior military commanders would do their best to “box in” a new president in 2009 in order to put more forces in Afghanistan.
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The Washington Post’s Newest Strategy for Challenging China
nstead of exploring policies that enable the United States to find ways to get along with China, too many politicians and pundits, like Boot, believe the only answer is in the pursuit of confrontation. The idea that India can be our ally against China seems far-fetched, given China’s many strengths, particularly in its economic and military advantages vis-a-vis India.
The Global Importance of Sino-American Relations
Currently, China has been taking advantage of the U.S. preoccupation with supporting Ukraine to steal a march on Washington’s interests, particularly in the Middle East. Unlike the United States, China has avoided contentious disputes throughout the Third World in order to establish reliable state-to-state relations in the Global South. While the Middle East has become America’s briar pitch, China has concluded long-term energy deals with Iran and Saudi Arabia, and recently orchestrated a rapprochement between the region’s leading countries. The United States could not play the honest broker role because it has no diplomatic relations with Iran and unreliable relations with Saudi Arabia.