[…] Wars over ideology have given way to wars over religious, ethnic, and tribal identity; nuclear dangers have proliferated; inequality and economic instability have intensified; damage to our environment, food insecurity, and dangers to public health are increasingly shared; and the same tools that empower individuals to build enable them to destroy. … – Obama’s National Security Strategy.
The view of Pres. Obama’s National Security Strategy, that it’s “Bush lite” opposed to “real change,” seems totally misguided. I certainly never heard Mr. Bush talking about making sure we live up to America’s values. Climate change? Never. Dr. Susan Rice is no John Bolton, with Sect. Clinton an engaged force of change for State. DemocracyArsenal has more here and here.
The story late yesterday of Clinton calls for unified national-security budget is more of what’s different about the Obama-Biden era compared to Bush-Cheney. Sect. Clinton’s modus operandi is that with this strategy Congress can’t pick it apart to starve what they don’t want to fund. For too long military has had the most money, with other aspects of our national security structure going without. Remember during Pres. Bush? State was a step child. Not so under Sect. Clinton.
“We have to start looking at a national-security budget,” Clinton said at the Brookings Institution Thursday. “We cannot look at a defense budget, a State Department budget, and a USAID budget without defense overwhelming the combined efforts of the other two, and without us falling back into the old stovepipes that I think are no longer relevant for the challenges of today.”
Clinton made all the usual arguments for why State needs more money, including the need to be present everywhere and the increased role diplomats and civilian advisors are playing in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. She also pointed out that even top Pentagon leaders are arguing for full funding of the State Department’s budget request, which faces a lot of congressional scrutiny this year in light of the constrained fiscal and economic atmosphere.
[…]”Part of the reason I brought [Lew] in is because I knew when Jack headed OMB during the Clinton administration, State would come in with their budget, and AID would come in with their budget, and OMB would always play them off of each other,” she said. “It was the easiest thing in the world to get money out of the 150 account [the international affairs budget]. They would come in and say ‘Oh no, diplomats!’ and then ‘Oh no, development!” and OMB would go, ‘Great, take it and give it to someone else.’ We are trying to avoid that.” …
[…] Our country possesses the attributes that have supported our leadership for decades-sturdy alliances, an unmatched military, the world’s largest economy, a strong and evolving democracy, and a dynamic citizenry. Going forward, there should be no doubt: the United States of America will continue to underwrite global security-through our commitments to allies, partners, and institutions; our focus on defeating al-Qa’ida and its affiliates in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and around the globe; and our determination to deter aggression and prevent the proliferation of the world’s most dangerous weapons. As we do,we must recognize that no one nation-no matter how powerful-can meet global challenges alone.
As we did after World War II, America must prepare for the future, while forging cooperative approaches among nations that can yield results. Our national security strategy is, therefore, focused on renewing American leadership so that we can more effectively advance our interests in the 21st century. We will do so by building upon the sources of our strength at home, while shaping an international order that can meet the challenges of our time. This strategy recognizes the fundamental connection between our national security, our national competitiveness, resilience, and moral example. And it reaffirms America’s commitment to pursue our interests through an international system in which all nations have certain rights and responsibilities. …
Next week, as June begins, Pres. Obama will welcome Prime Minister Netanyahu, sort of a re-do after the last visit than ended up with everyone looking petty. Then on June 9th, Pres. Obama will greet Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at the White House. Look for photo ops on both of these, as Rahm Emanuel is driving the make-up session between the White House and Israel, whose relationship has been uneven, at best. The visit of Mr. Abbas should remind everyone that there are two equal partners in the Middle East process talks, which neither party is working to forward beyond process to actual manifestation of a Palestinian state on the road to peace.