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25 November 2015

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Babak Makkinejad

No doubt about local politics in London or elsewhere, the difference being that the English have a 1000 years of statehood behind them and another 1000 years of empiricist rationalism.

turcopolier

Emad

Somehow I have lost your comment in which you ask me what person from the past I would replace Carter with as SECDEF. That would be George C. Marshall of course, but Obama would never appoint such a man. pl

Deray

Hi Babak,

I agree with your view here. It just seems that Obama represents just one of many factions - albeit the "reluctant warrior" faction - with respect to foreign/defense policy vis-a-vis Iran, Russia or Israel. Even with this compromised position he has managed to get the Iran nuclear deal done, and in the process draw the open ire of Israel

I don't remember what the issue was now, but I recall Obama challenging the people who wanted him to do something to get actively engaged in the political process and in effect "force me to do it" (paraphrasing here). Not having such a domestic constituency, it appears he has found the "partner" in Putin to create the sort of facts on the ground that would give him political cover to turn the focus directly onto ISIS. If he were so inclined.

The more worrying issue is that - beyond Obama the person - the Presidency itself may be too structurally compromised. The die may be cast irrespective of who sits in the oval office. I can't think of any of the current aspirants to the office who would be willing to execute a "neutral" Iran or Russia policy. There is no obvious domestic political constituency for any such re-think.

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