Friday, September 12, 2014

Superb Essay on Obama, Bush and US National Security Decision-Making

President Obama's foolish foreign policy choices are finally coming home to roost.  The old saying about a stitch in time saving nine applies very well here: if Obama had provided better levels of support to more moderate Syrian rebels, the Islamic State terrorist might never have become the kind of threat it has in the region, which now requires much harder responses.  There is a lesson in here for Obama's larger foreign policy strategy of disengagement, which is that such disengagement can create conditions that are a lot more dangerous than engagement.  This is not to suggest that levels of engagement should not be carefully thought out, and disengagement might be appropriate under some circumstances, but that disengagement cannot be a doctrine -- especially for the world's most powerful state.

David Rothkopf, editor of the Foreign Policy group, has excellent essay on the decision-making styles of the Bush and Obama White House, which provides a very nuanced picture of the process in both White Houses and which, incidentally, is more objective in examining the Bush foreign policy especially in the second term.

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