Obama To Lay Out Foreign Policy Strategy As Europe Debates Globalization’s Impacts

US Must Pursue A Regional Strategy In The Middle East
During a recent press conference, President Obama defended his refusal to reflexively react to events in the Middle East, saying management is not a “sexy” foreign policy.

Ross Harrison and Shahrokh Fardoust, professors at the Georgetown University and the University of Pittsburgh respectively, believe Obama is right to adopt a reserved stance, but contend US foreign policy must be more than management. What is needed is a regional strategy.

“There are three compelling reasons to adopt a regional strategy now. Indeed, unless American strategic leadership seizes the moment, the region could slip further, and even inexorably, into a political, economic and social abyss,” they write.

In a lengthy piece, they assert one of the key components of US foreign policy should be to foster economic development, which would address youth unemployment – one of the drivers of revolutions in Egypt.

“The United States has neither the financial capacity, nor the domestic support to launch a sizable “Marshall Plan” for spurring economic growth for the Middle East on its own. But the United States is in the unique position of having the diplomatic clout and sophistication to corral all of the stakeholders required to solve many of the region’s current and looming economic problems. And it has the ability to provide much-needed leadership, and help integrate and rationalize the various pieces of an economic package,” posit the professors.

In a commencement at West Point, Obama is expected to once again defend his foreign policy and to lay out his broader vision on the role of the US in global affairs.

“It’s a case for interventionism but not overreach. We are leading, we are the only country that leads, but that leadership has to be in service of an international system,” Benjamin J. Rhodes, the deputy national security adviser, told The New York Times.

He plans to provide more detail in a June trip to Europe, which will be one event in a summer-long campaign to respond to critics who maintain his foreign policy is listless and directionless.

Globalization, European Politics, And The New World Order
Speaking on National Public Radio, Antoine Ripoli of the European Parliament’s Liaison Office, says the preoccupation with the economic crisis has resulted in people “feeling that the future is dark” and that “tomorrow will be worse” than yesterday and that sentiment was capitalized on by far-right political parties. The results also were in part a reaction to what people see as the negative consequences of globalization on their lives and their families.

“And they are worried. And they see this globalization and the impact of globalization on their life and their children’s life. And they are worried. So I think that the vote that was expressed yesterday is a vote of worriedness and tension, what’s going to happen tomorrow?” he asked.

The role of globalization will be the focus of an upcoming conference hosted by the Royal Institute of International Affairs as part of an effort to “foster a comprehensive debate on the systemic risks facing the world as a result of the deepening process of globalization.”

The conference organizers have just released a series of papers that will explore some of the topics of discussion, including:

  • Globalization and World Order: 1914 vs 2014
  • Globalization: Winners and Losers
  • Power and Governance in the Digital Age
  • Resource Security and Geopolitics
  • What Now? First Steps towards a Rebalanced World
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