Obama Putting National Security and Foreign Policy on the Backburner?

President-elect Obama has certainly drawn plenty of comparisons to President Clinton. From bringing on former Clintonites like John D. Podesta and Rahm Emanuel, it seems that team Clinton will be back in office on January 20th.

What is really interesting is that Obama is also being compared to Clinton when he first came into office regarding weak foreign policy and national security experience. The Public Record just came out with an article
that showcases these comparisons in detail. In particular, check out these two paragraphs:

“Obama also has inherited a Clinton legacy marked by an unacceptable level of military influence over U.S. national security and foreign policy. Clinton capitulated to military opposition to agreements dealing with the International Criminal Court, a ban on landmines, the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, and the Chemical Warfare Convention. These decisions by Clinton need to be reversed. During the campaign, Obama took strong positions on stopping ethnic violence in Africa and elsewhere, but he should understand that the Pentagon opposes humanitarian missions for military force. It dragged its heels on intervention in Bosnia to stop ethnic cleansing and advocated that the United States block U.N. efforts to stop the genocide in Rwanda.”

“Obama is approaching inauguration with a secretary of defense who does not support many of the foreign policy positions that the president-elect took during the campaign; a secretary of state who was chosen for domestic political reasons; and without two key intelligence advisers—the director of national intelligence (the so-called intelligence tsar) and the director of the Central Intelligence Agency.”

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Matthew Stephen Worner

There are those that say that Obama’s Presidency “a redux of the Clinton’s Presidency.” References to Bill Clinton appoinents are not a bad thing. I would argue that the “change” referenced by Obama is more related to competence in government. Obama’s track record of appointments have been praised by even the far right Washington Times. I would have to argue also that Mel Goodman, the author of the article above, is far more pleased with this foreign policy than that of the last 8 years. In fact, he says so himself in one of his books. Fact is, here, Obama tolerates dissent in his cabinent, which is the mark of an effective leader.