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A Grand Strategy Agenda for the Next President

Monday, Nov. 10, 2008

As far as foreign policy goes, Barack Obama comes to the presidency totally unburdened by his past (this is truly his first act in the international political theater) and unusually credentialed as a presumed agent of future change (e.g., his biracial background alone), so he's a relatively free agent, ideologically speaking.

That's a huge asset as he follows the highly ideological Bush-Cheney administration, because he encounters a world of labeled players, most of whom are eager to come in from whatever "cold" standing vis-à-vis the United States that their current designation implies. That doesn't mean these regimes necessarily seek our affinity but merely the cessation of our efforts to isolate them from globalization's networks. With a global recession in the works, everybody wants access to consumption demand -- the real power in the system -- and America's still got more of that than anybody else. ...

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