Friday, 21 November 2008

Obama's Foreign Policy and National Security Cast

I've refrained from commenting on Obama's victory on this blog since the epochal events of November 5. But that hasn't in any way diminished the extent of joy I felt on the day and the potential that his election holds for America's relations with the world and the worl'd perception of America. So a belated congrats to Barack Obama is still in order. Enjoy the moment, and now let the hard work begin.

Though the shape of his policies toward Africa can't be grasped as of now, it is obvious that events in Somalia and the Congo will for starters engage President Obama. He will need to learn the right lessons from US involvement in Africa so as not to repeat the mistakes of past administrations that have led both Somalia and the Congo to this present pass.

Two items of news that I came across today, put a spotlight on what the future might hold.

The Guardian in its headline today focused on the recently released 4-yearly report from the National Intelligence Council (which coordiantes the analyses from all US intelligence agencies). Titled - Global Trends 2025: A world transformed, it predicts among other things that:
1. The US will no longer be able to "call the shots" alone
2. "The western model of economic liberalism, democracy and secularism...may lose its lustre"
3. By 2025, the US will become "less dominant" in the world

I reckon that Obama has read this document and is shaping his response to the challenges posed therein. This might inform the reasoning behind the cast of characters that he is building to shape his policies in this regard. With talk of General Jim Jones (rtd) as his likely National Security adviser, Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State and Robert Gates staying on at the Pentagon, they are already being called the National Security Team of Rivals and there's even a suggestion that "it might be a good idea for Clinton, Gates, Jones, Obama and Biden to go off for a weekend retreat somewhere, have a few drinks and get to know each other"

Any venue suggestions?

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