Monday, June 30, 2003

# Posted 9:50 PM by Ariel David Adesnik  

OUTSIDE IRAQ: While things in Iraq are going better than expected, the Administration is adrift almost everywhere else.

As a candidate, the President criticized his predecessor for his excessive personalization of US diplomacy, i.e. depending on single figures such as Yeltsin rather than building a strong overall relationship with Russia. Yet in Russia, Pakistan and Afghanistan, Bush has fallen prey to Clinton's old habit.

When it comes to more peripheral regions such as Africa, Latin America and (for the moment) East Asia, the Administration seems to have no strategy at all. But that much is to be expected.

Few American presidents have ever developed a truly global strategy. Nixon and Kissinger did, but theirs was worse than none at all. So let's just hope that our ambassadors and assistant secretaries of state are ready to face regional challenges without much guidance from above.
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