The View From 1776
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Foreign Policy Reality: Afghanistan Today
Our foreign policy should not become a PR exercise aimed at placating liberal-progressive-socialists on the home front.
Nor is hoping to make other nations like us by being nice to them a legitimate objective of foreign policy. They are likely to interpret abandonment of our asserted interests and willingness to talk at high levels without preconditions as weakness, as an invitation to push us around.
What must drive foreign policy is national interests. The only point of foreign policy is to gain and to protect national interests by means short of war. Sometimes that requires compromises that partially preserve national interests or that remove threats to national interests.
But, before diplomatic compromises, we must forcefully assert our national interests, along with credible willingness to uses means of retaliation if necessary. Often that involves demanding at the outset more than we may be prepared to settle for.
Russia’s unabashed actions exemplify the process.
Let’s pray that ambassador Richard Holbrooke will be an effective agent in Afghanistan for the national interests of the United States.
For a thought provoking analysis of the conflicting national interests of the United States, Russia, Iran, and Pakistan, as they converge in Afghanistan, read Patrick Buchanan’s Obama and the Great Game.