The new New York Times interview with President Obama is an interesting read. I am glad that he is our leader at this point. He explains what his approach to Iran and other countries is. He lays out his way of thinking about countries that have been deemed enemies of the U.S. It’s being called the Obama doctrine. It seems more than sane to me. Here is a small snippet:
“You take a country like Cuba. For us to test the possibility that engagement leads to a better outcome for the Cuban people, there aren’t that many risks for us. It’s a tiny little country. It’s not one that threatens our core security interests, and so [there’s no reason not] to test the proposition. And if it turns out that it doesn’t lead to better outcomes, we can adjust our policies.”
The doctrine is: We will engage, but we preserve all our capabilities.”
The notion that Iran is undeterrable — “it’s simply not the case,” he added. “And so for us to say, ‘Let’s try’ — understanding that we’re preserving all our options, that we’re not naïve — but if in fact we can resolve these issues diplomatically, we are more likely to be safe, more likely to be secure, in a better position to protect our allies, and who knows? Iran may change. If it doesn’t, our deterrence capabilities, our military superiority stays in place. … We’re not relinquishing our capacity to defend ourselves or our allies. In that situation, why wouldn’t we test it?”
This does not mean that his foreign policy is perfect. I still am highly wary of his use of drones over the term of his presidency. I also don’t like the way that whistle blowers have been treated. However, the main policies that he lays forth seem to me that they are highly reasonable. He seems to understand our place in the world. We are militarily the most powerful country in the world. Why couldn’t we try new approaches, especially when the downside, given our technological and military position, is small. His approach to Cuba and Iran, at least at this point, seem like victories for peace.
I highlight two of the quotes that Huffington Post also highlighted.