American Proscenium

Whither Obama's Foreign Policy?

According to the Washington Post, a senior diplomat from a major European country, a Middle Eastern ambassador, and an Asian ambassador—all of whom represent “major, big-league countries”—have been getting lots of messages from their home offices wondering how exactly President Obama will exert his influence over the contracting American Empire.

Apparently “Barack Obama’s folks aren’t talking” to these and other diplomats who, like the rest of the “insiders” in Washington, have been unable to figure out Obama’s foreign-policy direction.  This suggests to some that Obama has a coherent foreign-policy vision as well as a strategy to implement it; he’s just doing a great job at keeping all of that top secret—certainly a valuable skill for those who want to win victories in the games that nations play.

But perhaps this interpretation gives too much credit to the President’s diplomatic skills.  Is it possible that he actually does not have any grand diplomatic strategy in mind and that the code of silence that Obama and his aides have maintained stems from the fact that they have nothing to hide—or say?

In a way, this Obama Enigma explains why those of us who are trying to solve the mystery and come up with some predictions about Obama’s diplomacy end up projecting our own hopes—or fears—on the situation. ...

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