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  • Explaining the Obama National Security Strategy

    Yesterday the White House unveiled its national security strategy. It came in basically three parts.

    Part One is the “anything but Bush” part. Where the goal is to put as much distance between Obama and Bush – even where there is not a lot space. Renaming the War on Terrorism, the war on al Qaeda is a case in point. Did the Bush administration not know it was fighting al Qaeda? Did Obama stop doing Predator strikes?

    Part Two is an overwhelming desire to substitute soft power for hard power. The problem is that soft power – like diplomacy – is not a substitute for hard power. Obama has already given us an object lesson in how this really works with the New START treaty. The US gave the Russians everything they wanted and in return got nothing other than ensuring Russia will be a dominant nuclear power for the next half century while the US nuclear deterrent continues to atrophy.

    Part Three of the strategy is living in the world of wishful thinking. It emphasizes engagement and cooperation. But the strategy has no strategy for when the other side chooses not to cooperate as in the case of Iran. The US opted to engage Iran. Iran opted to make parodies about US foreign policy.

    Hope is not a strategy…but it is the Obama national security strategy.

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    9 Responses to Explaining the Obama National Security Strategy

    1. John says:

      Hi, thanks for sharing your thoughts on Obama's national security policy.

      As ordinary citizens, I suppose we should have faith and trust in the government's policies for we must hope that they define their policies based on a wealth of information that they must have on the state of security affairs across the world.

      As an IT security practioner, I often work with IT departments and together we define and implement security policies which are then rolled out. The end-users may not always agree with our policies, but we define them based on a wealth of information that is available to us, and with the best of intentions, so sometimes, they may seem unpopular, but they are for the best interest of the organization.

      My little example here may or may not make sense to you, but I hope that it can convey the idea that the hope is that these policies are based on a wealth of information and made with the best of intentions and keeping reality in mind.

    2. Pingback: Explaining the Obama National Security Strategy | The Foundry … « President Barack Obama

    3. Billie says:

      Obama's illusion of national security strategy is the reality of Obama's national security neglect. He focuses most on removing freedoms, individual liberties and rights from the people he leads, while he makes this country more accessible to her enemies and terrorism.

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    8. Amy, Texas says:

      Jim, what's interesting to note about the new NSS is less that it tries to separate itself from Bush policies and more that it is simply the *exact same* rhetoric used in past NSS versions. How is the current NSS even useful, and how can it be improved? Your observation on the lack of a solution in the NSS for Iran illustrates that there are major flaws in the productions of a report with a lot of words but no clear answers on how to realistically execute grand strategy. If you've got the time to write it, I'd really like to see a memo re: your take on a possible decline of the quality of the NSS, QDR, and other strategic documents coming out of OSD — or at least if you can come up with a list of ways to improve its usefulness.

    9. Pingback: Biden Speaks at Naval Academy | Conservative Principles Now

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