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The Realist Prism: Obama's National Security Strategy Quandary

Friday, May 28, 2010

Last week, at West Point, President Barack Obama sounded a familiar theme that all recent U.S. presidents have lamented, when he said, "The burdens of this century cannot fall on our soldiers alone. It also cannot fall on American shoulders alone." Obama also reiterated time-honored propositions in his promise to "be steadfast in strengthening those old alliances that have served us so well," and his desire "to build new partnerships, and shape stronger international standards and institutions." The just-released 2010 National Security Strategy of the United States continues this approach, declaring, "Alliances are force multipliers: through multinational cooperation and coordination, the sum of our actions is always greater than if we act alone."

But like Aesop's fable about the mice deciding to put a warning bell around the neck of the cat, the task is easier said than done. ...

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