Power and Influence in a World of Insecurity
With the dismal record of the Bush administration fresh in mind, assessing the first nine months of the Obama administration's international relations performance evokes a mixture of admiration and trepidation. The substantive signals have been important, but arguably less so than the tone and the carefully choreographed style, which seem painstakingly designed to offer something for everyone. Special envoys have been appointed, thorny issues broached, executive orders signed and new directions mooted. Guantanamo Bay is closing, Europe is opening, missile defense is being reprofiled and overtures have been made to Egypt, Iran, Turkey, and Indonesia. Even if Fox has not quite toned down, the neocons have packed up, torture is out, and negotiation is in.
And in its Oct. 9 statement awarding the Peace Prize to President Barack Obama, the Nobel Commmittee cites the word "diplomacy" three times in four paragraphs.