Warren I. Cohen | Truthdig | July 17, 2009
The Chinese and the Israelis loved George W. Bush, but most Americans and most friends of the United States would judge his foreign policies to have been disastrous. Those of us who came of age during the Cold War cannot remember a time when the prestige of the country was lower or when it had less influence with allies and adversaries. And now, in the midst of a financial crisis approaching the depths of the Great Depression, the new Obama administration’s attention cannot be diverted for long from the economy. But the world has great expectations of Barack Obama. Somehow he will bring peace to Israelis, Palestinians and Afghans, bring American troops home from Iraq without allowing that benighted country to slip back into chaos, persuade the Iranians to give up their nuclear weapons program and the North Koreans to surrender their nukes, keep Pakistan’s nuclear material securely in friendly hands, and prevent al-Qaida or its knockoffs from attacking an American city with a weapon of mass destruction. All this he will do without walking on water.
David Sanger is a distinguished, highly knowledgeable foreign affairs reporter for The New York Times. Publication of his book, “The Inheritance: The World Obama Confronts and the Challenges to American Power,” was timed to have it on the desks of the new administration’s national security mavens their first day on the job. He tells a familiar story of our nation’s tribulations over the last eight years and provides an accurate description of where we stand today, but he is not an analyst of the caliber of Fareed Zakaria or Robert Kagan, Eric Alterman or James Mann. Continue reading ‘Warren I. Cohen on Obama’s Foreign Policy Challenges’