Mission Statement

April 7, 2009

This site is here to follow the developments of the new president’s diplomacy with the Middle East, the European Union, Russia, and China. It will take note in changes from years past and gauge public reaction to new policy.

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The Online Community

April 7, 2009

Here are a few popular politics and news blogs that discuss foreign policy.

Daily Kos
Juan Cole: Informed Comment
The Washington Note

The Blog Catalog can be used to find many more foreign policy blogs.

Here are a few Yahoo Groups concerned with the issues.

People that care about U.S. foreign policy have discussions like this.

Many citizens from around the world follow how the U.S. is dealing with the rest of the world and give their strong opinions.

Links

April 7, 2009

Here are some websites you can use to follow developments in U.S. Diplomacy. These will appear in the link section on the sidebar.

Global Post
Heritage Foundation
Politico
Council on Foreign Relations
Foreign Policy Magazine
U.S. Department of State Blog
On the Issues: Barack Obama

Three major areas of policy to follow

April 7, 2009

1. The Middle East: finishing wars and restarting diplomacy

While the U.S. is still engaged in two wars, Obama is trying to use diplomacy to work with other countries in the region. He is taking a more conciliatory approach to Iran and supporting Turkey’s push for a position in the E.U. Obama has set a timetable for Iraq, planning to withdraw troops in August 2010 but to leave 50,000 behind for noncombat duties until the end of 2011. At the same time, the administration has pledged to expand the number of troops in Afghanistan.

2. The European Union: winning public opinion

Bush’s foreign policy led to a strained relationship with some European allies and low public opinion ratings across Europe. Obama is in the process of building a new reputation in the E.U. Winning public opinion in the E.U. will make it easier for Obama to work with its governments. Crowds cheered in France and the Czech Republic when he stopped in during the G-20 summits.

3. Russia: the Cold War lingers on

Obama made an agreement with Russia to reduce stockpiles of nuclear weapons. Though the president intends to move past a Cold War mentality, Russia and the U.S. still have disagreements. The U.S. doesn’t recognize former Soviet states as being under Russia’s sphere of influence.

Obama’s change in foreign policy begs many questions

April 3, 2009

The new administration’s actions in these early months will reset the tone for international relations.  While the economic crisis is the first order of business for Obama, the world is waiting to see what kind of diplomatic relationships his administration will forge.

Many questions begged to be answered.

Obama wants to end the war in Iraq, but where would the U.S. presence in the region go? Does the U.S. plan to stay inside or leave its massive compound in Baghdad?

Will the U.S. step in and use its influence to mediate the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, or will it remain aloof?  What are Obama’s ultimate goals in the Middle East?

Obama has been quoted saying he would go into Pakistan to take out the Taliban. Does the state of Pakistan remain an ally?

Is China friend, foe, or just a vast, distant country that the U.S. periodically takes moral stances against? Is there a China strategy?

Throughout most of the 20th century, America stood against the Soviet Union with Great Britain at its side. Is the U.K. still America’s most important ally?

What kind of engagement will the U.S. have with Russia?  Central Asia, historically under the Russian sphere of influence, remains a critical place for natural resources. How will Obama tread in this critical region? Is Kyrgyzstan’s withdrawal of support a bellwether of U.S. efforts in Afghanistan?

A new face for U.S. diplomacy

April 3, 2009

This site is about the changing in the guard of American diplomacy from the Bush years to the Obama years.  While George W. Bush was in office, the U.S. embraced unilateralism and worked on its own, particularly in the March 2003 invasion of Iraq, with some scattered support from the rest of the world.  Bush broke the protocol of action through international consensus of the NATO or the U.N.

Today Barack Obama is re-building what many political experts consider strained relationships with America’s traditional allies.  Additionally, and controversially, he has promised to engage in talks with enemies of the U.S. like Iran.  Under Bush, the U.S. considered a bombing campaign and invasion of Iran but never diplomatic meetings.  Nonethless, Obama and Secretary of State Hilary Clinton have yet to follow through on Obama’s campaign promise.