Obama Addresses the World
From President Obama’s speech this morning to the U.N. general assembly:
In an era when our destiny is shared, power is no longer a zero sum game….No balance of power among nations will hold. The traditional division between nations of the south and north makes no sense in an interconnected world. Nor do alignments of nations rooted in the cleavages of a long gone Cold War.
This is notable for two reasons.
First, it’s a bucket-full of cold water for those convinced that President Obama’s ascent signaled a renaissance of foreign-policy realism in the West Wing. This is a mind invested in the notion of complex interdependence, in which economic and political interconnection softens nations’ concerns about their raw power relative to others. In that sense, on foreign policy Obama is only different from other recent presidents -- even George W. Bush -- in degree rather than type.
Second, the last line is particularly notable for its real-world policy implications. What about America’s continuing trade and travel embargo against Cuba? Other than a few of the configurations among the post-Soviet states, I’m not sure there is an “alignment” more “rooted in the cleavages of a long gone Cold War” that the one America currently maintains with the island nation. The president has already lifted some of the most egregious restrictions. Here’s hoping he goes further.
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