Obama's Foreign Entanglements
By Ben Pershing
In his inaugural address, President Obama approvingly quoted George Washington. But exactly one month into his term, the 44th president is not so far paying heed to one of the first president's most famous warnings: Beware of foreign entanglements.
In Ottawa Thursday, Obama reassured Canada that the U.S. would not do anything to diminish the alliance between the two countries or weaken the ties that bind, whether on trade, energy or Afghanistan. In Seoul, Hillary Clinton spoke of forming a "common front" with Asian allies in handling nuclear negotiations in North Korea, where, she controversially suggested, Kim Jong Il might not be in power much longer. In Poland, Robert Gates told NATO allies that the new administration "has not yet reviewed where it is on a whole range of issues" related to Europe, missile defense and Russia. In Israel, U.S. diplomats are trying to figure out how to kick-start the peace process as Benjamin Netanyahu prepares to form a new government.
For Obama, the most sobering thought is that dealing with this panopoly of foreign challenges might just be easier than handling the domestic ones.
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