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Ear to the Ground

Obama Rewrites America’s Nat’l Security Strategy

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Posted on May 27, 2010
Obama
White House / Pete Souza

There’s a new sheriff in town, and he’s got a new plan that’s sure to fall short of expectations from both sides of the political aisle.

The first-strike mentality of the Bush years, along with the attendant unilateral military exploits, has fallen from favor in President Barack Obama’s revised national security scheme for the U.S.—or so goes the spin on that plan. Some might take issue with the first-strike notion, given America’s whole ongoing drones-over-Pakistan scenario, for example.  —KA

AP via Google News:

In the president’s first formal declaration of his national security strategy, Obama breaks with some of his predecessors in putting heavy emphasis on the value of global cooperation, developing wider security partnerships and helping other nations defend themselves.

Obama’s apparent effort to move away from the Bush national security legacy without outright repudiation of it seemed likely to draw criticism from the left, which had hoped for a more direct rejection of the doctrine of pre-emptive war. Republicans, on the other hand, seem certain to criticize the policy’s emphasis on diplomacy and development aid as evidence Obama is weak on defense issues.

While the document describes the Obama administration’s broad national security goals, it mentions al-Qaida specifically and repeatedly and singles out U.S. adversaries Iran and North Korea over their nuclear programs.

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By frost, May 28, 2010 at 7:20 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

kills me the hope of the american that our state will ever be anything other than a rapacious, dishonest, and violent abomination.

reading the document does not make you the wiser if you expect the state to follow through on it. that just reveals a complete lack of historical knowledge.

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By The1andonlyMe, May 28, 2010 at 3:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Don’t just listen to others’ opinions or spout off opinions. Make sure you read President Obama’s plan. You can read the full document here:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/rss_viewer/national_security_strategy.pdf

I agree with pretty much everything I’ve read in the document, and am very pleased with President Obama’s stategy. However, I do have legitimate concerns and questions.

Will President Obama follow through with the stated goals?
What is the plan for policies regarding detention (especially indefinite) and torture (such as waterboarding)?
What is the plan for trade? I notice that there is emphasis on exporting, which is excellent, but what about offshoring US jobs? What’s to say that a degree for a given career pursued is not then subjected to have that job or field sent to another country for exploitation of cheaper labor? Is it possible to have a trade policy whereby any given company cannot favor cheap foreign labor at the expensive of American jobs?

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By Night-Gaunt, May 28, 2010 at 9:15 am Link to this comment

Yes back to the <b>GHW Bush<?b> Doctrine of 1990 where you get a patina of other nations to back your unilateral action. It looks better and costs a bit less but the National Security Doctrine of global hegemony will continue as holy writ. By any other name it still is the same. Iran is no enemy and doesn’t have to be but the USA & Israel wants them to be. Pakistan is already under siege with the Drone wars, along with Afghanistan murdering an average 1 in 3 civilians on their missions. Will Somalia and Yemin be next? Are they now? Djibouti is the base-country to operate out of into the Horn of Africa to these areas as Africa Command begins to gear up for hot operations in both Africa and aid on the boarder of the Middle East. However I suspect they would rather spend their forces on oil rich places like the Niger Delta and Saudi Arabia but Iran has a fair amount of oil too. (So does Canada for that matter.) Unfortunately an attack on Iran will cause an oil crisis and our gov’t will fall then the uber-wealthy crypto-fascists in waiting will take over as they have long planned and remake it into their corporate theocracy. Their heaven our hell.

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By gerard, May 28, 2010 at 8:05 am Link to this comment

Well, yes, maybe so ... but ...?

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By thecrow, May 28, 2010 at 5:48 am Link to this comment

“America’s whole ongoing drones-over-Pakistan scenario”

http://michaelfury.wordpress.com/2010/05/06/killin/

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By thecrow, May 28, 2010 at 5:33 am Link to this comment

“without outright repudiation”

http://michaelfury.wordpress.com/2008/12/10/forgive-and-forgetforget/

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By thecrow, May 28, 2010 at 4:50 am Link to this comment

“it mentions al-Qaida specifically and repeatedly”

http://michaelfury.wordpress.com/2010/03/08/the-talented-mr-pearlman/

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By frost, May 28, 2010 at 1:19 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

to think along party lines at this point in history is simply misguided and betrays a
deep misunderstanding of American politics.

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Ed Harges's avatar

By Ed Harges, May 27, 2010 at 9:03 pm Link to this comment

When it comes to warmongering, in all the most important ways, Obama is as bad
as Bush or even worse. For example, Obama and Mme Clinton have continued to
keep our country on track toward a catastrophic war with Iran by continuing to
promulgate the lies and stoke the unwarranted fears contrived to justify it, and by
continuing to make ridiculous demands of Iran which no sovereign nation could
possibly accept, especially when such demands are coming from the US and Israel,
with their sorry track records with regard to nuclear weapons issues.

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By gerard, May 27, 2010 at 7:06 pm Link to this comment

CARELESS TYPO IN GERARD BELOW:

NOT spelling out the fundamentals of creative nonviolent responses in detail (since almost nobody knows anything at all about them) carefully avoids using them.  Thus progress in exploring alternatives to force is forestalled.
(SORRY ABOUT THAT!)

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By gerard, May 27, 2010 at 7:06 pm Link to this comment

CARELESS TYPO IN GERARD BELOW:

NOT spelling out the fundamentals of creative nonviolent responses in detail (since almost nobody knows anything at all about them) carefully avoids using them.  Thus progress in exploring alternatives to force is forestalled.
(SORRY ABOUT THAT!)

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By gerard, May 27, 2010 at 6:16 pm Link to this comment

For example:  In the North/South Korean situation—instead of answering accusation with accusation, threat with threat, work through organizations already opening constructive educational or business projects between China and Japan to include both Koreas. (After all they are brothers/sisters, aunts/uncles and have recently been on more freindly terms). 
  Especially work to educate youth from all four countries in camp/study programs, with both China and Japan offering to invite both North and South Korean kids on work projects in world service together.  In Japan work to decrease and overcome the still-virulent anti-Korean prejudice.
  Japan and China and South Korea send in medical teams to aid with advancing standards in the North, and do it without the sting of claims of superiority, but as goodwill, maybe engaging services from UNICEF on children’s health first, as experimental projects with the idea of learning how to spread world health to other deprived nations’ children.
  Presented in friendly, non-threatening ways, it would be hard for such projects to be rejected or to fail if under the guidance of people experienced in inter-cultural, cross-nation work such as Doctors Without Borders etc.
  This is just one example of hundreds of ideas that could be developed if only people would start thinking about the vast resouces available to work for constructive answers and stop the persistent threat-reaction-counter threat-counter-reaction etc. 
  Certainly there must be, in many countries, resources that could be called upon to spread the notion of caring instead of killing, and work to prevent rather than to conquer and suppress.
  Make ways to let change happen naturally?

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By gerard, May 27, 2010 at 4:51 pm Link to this comment

The same subtle omission again:  “While the use of force is sometimes necessary, we will exhaust other options before war whenever we can and carefully weigh the costs and risks of action against the costs of risks of inaction.”
  First, why are “other options NOT spelled out and made clear?  Options, for instance, that involve not only diplomacy (which is a word regarded by Republicans and some Democrats as totally ineffective and therefore unacceptable, in spite of possible or probable success. They are never even tried because they are never widely publicized or understood.
  Second, weighing “risks of action against the costs of risks of inaction,” as though there is either the use of force (action) or nothing.  Spelling out the fundamentals of creative nonviolent responses in detail (since almost nobody knows anything at all about them) carefully avoids using them.  Thus progress in exploring alternatives to force is forestalled.
  Nonviolent techniques offer a range of new, under-developed possibilities and creative solutions, especially if used early when differences arise, and consistently over a period of time, without military threats etc.  Until we learn to demand that this entire field of opportunity be opened and broadened, future wars will not be avoided.  Rather, they will dominate our thinking as the only solutions.
  This kind of ignoring, whether deliberate or accidental,  whether by media or by the government, is criminal negligence at this point in the history of weapons of mass destruction.
  War simply has to be replaced with less lethal, more humane alternatives, some already in evidence, others az yet to be discovered.
  Who will fill the blanks?  And when?

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By samosamo, May 27, 2010 at 2:34 pm Link to this comment

***************


““If Obama is moving away from the insane, imperialist,
hubristic notion that America can take pre-emptive action
against any nation on earth on the say so of an impossibly
stupid president like Bush or a corrupt and drug addled
president like Nixon then that’s a good thing.”“”
**********************

Key word, IF.  No offense to your rehashing the neocon think
tank agendas of the past 40 or 50 years of which I am aware of
but what I see, or tend to believe, is the same obstruction
delaying rhetoric o is so well known for when considering his
campaign of ‘change to believe in’. Which I gave up on at least
before his first 100 days as prez was up because all of his
ACTIONS spoke so much more than his words/promises, so that
why am I or otherwise supposed to be inclined to think he is
different now?

And where I was considering voting for him prior to the 2008
campaign ‘season’, I detected his slight of hand trick sometime
in June when I became aware of his pledging his and this
country’s fealty to corporate u.s.a. and then american izraeli
public affairs committee, thus I voted 3rd party.

And the global economy for sure is not secure now or recovered
or getting stronger, not in the sense of the ‘working people, but
definitely it hasn’t missed a lick for the investors and elite who
profit by the underhanded shady dealing when the stock market
is THE leading indicator of a recovery or a strengthening
economy. Remember the 1000 point drop of a month or so ago?

No, it seems o is still on the ‘war is the best thing’ for the global
economy and actually creating jobs, managing natural resources
and the environment are only getting attention where and when
it is useful, just as rewriting the national security strategy
appears to be a real step in discarding w & dick’s barbarian
policies. Only time will tell, but as long as this country allows
the out and out criminal bribery under the guise of lobbying to
continue, what may appear a decisive move to action is just as
equally capable of ending up a hollow piece of junk carrying
pork and earmarks all around to the favorites.

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By diamond, May 27, 2010 at 1:49 pm Link to this comment

Well you see, Samosamo, there was this little thing called the ‘Global Financial Crisis’ which could have brought down the entire global economy and caused mass unemployment and enormous suffering all over the globe. That is over and above the enormous suffering that unfettered capitalism already inflicts on the wage slaves in its grip. Obama had to do something about this because the Republicans were certainly not going to do anything: having created the mess in the first place by de-regulating and privatizing everything, including the entire financial system and war, they were happy to obstruct any effort to fix the mess, and did. And speaking of war, yes, there were at least two wars that demanded Obama’s attention. Wars started by the Republicans, on fake intelligence reports, anthrax letters and treasonous skulduggery at the highest levels and motivated on one level by a thirst for oil that puts a drunk’s thirst for alcohol in the shade.

If Obama is moving away from the insane, imperialist, hubristic notion that America can take pre-emptive action against any nation on earth on the say so of an impossibly stupid president like Bush or a corrupt and drug addled president like Nixon then that’s a good thing.

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By samosamo, May 27, 2010 at 1:02 pm Link to this comment

****************

 

““In the president’s first formal declaration of his national
security strategy, Obama breaks with some of his predecessors
in putting heavy emphasis on the value of global cooperation,
developing wider security partnerships and helping other
nations defend themselves.”“
**************************

It has taken 16 months from his inauguration for our current
fool in the white house to declare HIS national security strategy?
Why is that? Would it have anything to do when little w took o
into the white house to ‘have a talk’ where I am sure w told o
that if he so much as hinted that w & dick were to be
investigated for any of their crimes, that he would be shot dead
before the sun went down the day he would say that? And that
would be easy for a member of the bush crime family to arrange
being ‘cozy’ with the cia. Or that if he were to radically change
the ‘national security strategy’, the military industrial
congressional financial cia complex would pop his ass along
with the rest of his family? 

But there is that last part of the above quote from the post,
‘putting heavy emphasis on the value of global cooperation,
developing wider security partnerships and helping other
nations defend themselves.’ Now could or could that not be
construed as an around about way of maintaining the same
irrational imperial endeavors but with the seemingly cooperation
of the ‘other nations’ trying to defend themselves? Maybe ask
those ‘other nations’ how they would like it. And of course I
would have little doubt that the imf, wto, world bank and the
rest of them would be a conditional part of that ‘cooperation’.

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By RdV, May 27, 2010 at 12:17 pm Link to this comment

The only ones easily duped by his honorable-sounding blabbering are those who choose to willfully ignore it because they don’t want their luv-fest bubble burst. You should see the Obamabots over at HuffPost, it is like their lives would be meaningless if they couldn’t play in the partisan play ground. Every thread slips into a stupid mud-slinging fest between Rightwing Obama bashers, criticizing Obama for the same things they defended Bush from and Obama cheerleaders who ignore the fact that the Right has more to cheer about in Obama than the Left does.
  Case in point, Helen’s pointed question at the press conference and Obama’s pathetic response on Afghanistan—Both sides completely ignored it because the Right couln’t condemn it and the Obamabots couldn’t cheer it on.

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