Saturday, April 11, 2015


Lately, American foreign policy has come under increasing critical scrutiny. The Henry Kissinger/George P. Shultz editorial page article in the Wall Street Journal regarding the "Iran Deal" was almost merciless.  The Cuban "overture" cannot hide the fact that the Southern Hemisphere prefers distance to accommodation in its dealings with Washington.  The Bretton Woods architecture under American stewardship is being overtaken by Xi Jinping's New Development Bank. This could have been avoided if the IMF and World Bank had taken into account the growing weight of countries which no longer suffer from being "snubbed".  Now the US Administration had better try to convince Congress about a fast-track trade deal with both the EU and Asia.  With allies like the Democrats, the President will have to do some cajoling and arm twisting, two things he is not good at.

China is "colonizing" the South and East China Seas.  The Middle East becomes every day more inextricable and Washington looks often as if it were acting more cautiously with its foes than with its supposed allies.  Meanwhile, Putin looks on, like an actor out of some Eisenstein movie.  The sum looks more horrid than the reality which is fluid, as always. Nevertheless, the absence of any strategic or coherent geo-political concept is a reality. The successive prioritized attention arcs stand in the way of the larger picture. The fire brigade tries to save a house but the city is in flames.

It has to be recognized that it is becoming difficult to forge alliances or "time-proof initiatives" in a world which looks, in parts, like being in free-fall. To leave the disease unattended should nevertheless be no option. To slice a problem into a manageable (?) part while ignoring the rest of it, is dangerous. One should be wary not to add to the number of multiplying fractures by indulging in "faction fallacies".  Only when ALL are included at the offset can the undesirables be seen in daylight and, if possible, penalized by consensus. Washington should lead a coalition rather than continue to steer a diplomatic ambulance from one theatre to the other.

The known Republican presidential candidates look provincial and totally unprepared...true, there is a learning curve. Mrs. Clinton is better at acknowledging people she knows than at suggesting solutions for problems she chose to bypass...until now.

Meanwhile, Obama continues to rule in what appears sometimes to be a virtual reality. There is not much there there.

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