Obama's National Security Strategy: Is 'I'm not Bush' ending?
As the Obama administration seeks to differentiate itself from its predecessor, it may risk playing down the role of 'hard power' too much. The National Security Strategy will be unveiled Thursday.
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Much of the world, Professor Lieber says, will be watching the new security strategy to see if Obama largely plays down the role of hard power. Such a move would exacerbate growing jitters about a less assertive America, he says.Skip to next paragraph
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“If this [administration’s] allergy to almost any of the rhetoric that resonates with whatever the Bush administration did or said is perpetuated” in the document, he says, “we’re very likely to see the repercussions in a series of foreign-policy problems.”
Others say they expect Obama’s strategy to address emerging challenges to national security, including climate change and energy innovation.
“A lot of it will be focused on terrorism and religious extremism,” said Sen. John Kerry (D) of Massachusetts at a Monitor breakfast Wednesday. But the president’s attention to the broad implications of energy challenges tells him that “in principle, this [issue] will be emphasized within” the National Security Strategy.
Steven Clemons, who directs the American strategy program at the New America Foundation in Washington, says Obama’s West Point speech suggests that the new document will recognize “the vital need for the US to return to its role as a benign, constructive force in global affairs.”
Referring to one of the four “pillars” Obama highlighted in the speech – rebuilding America’s international leadership through a stronger America at home – Mr. Clemons says he expects the new strategy will underscore that “there is no way that the US can presume global leadership when its home front is deteriorating and in poor shape.”
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