Key determinants of a nation’s foreign policy: basic national interests personality, beliefs, character of leadership domestic politics (demands, constraints) domestic institutions (constraints) actual international situation (constraints, opportunities, events) power and capacities: “hard” – military and economic; and “soft” – international alliances, institutions, legitimacy
US basic national interests: security prosperity democracy
Obama’s values = key principles of US foreign policy: inclusion (vs. division) multilateralism (vs. unilateralism) soft power (vs. hard power) respect (interests of others) pragmatism (vs. ideology) professional competence (vs. ideology, personal loyalty) strategic thinking
Domestic politics Mood of Americans: weary of war skeptical that US action to change things want to restore US global image priority on fixing domestic economy
Actual international situation inherited problems (Bush legacy) unanticipated or anticipated events
Power and capacities “hard power” – military capacity “soft power” – international alliances, institutions, and legitimacy
Iraq responsible withdrawal; all “combat” forces by August 2010 (35-50,000 troops remaining); all US forces must be out by end of 2011 (US-Iraqi agreement) comprehensive regional agreement?
Middle East renewed engagement negotiations on two-state solution more balanced US position (more pressure on Israel) consultations with all interested parties – Hamas? regional approach – negotiations with Syria
Iran stop nuclear weapons program open to direct negotiations; cooperation on Afghanistan? bigger “carrots” (WTO membership, investment, normalized diplomatic relations) and “sticks” (tougher sanctions, military option) more cooperation with Russia and China
“Afpak” biggest foreign policy problem the “right war” more troops (17,000 in February) – more later? bigger European contributions – economic and civil support missile and special ops strikes into Pakistan; negotiate with moderate Taliban? more limited goals problem of destabilization of Pakistan (“nightmare scenario”) more economic and military aid to Pakistan
China most important US bilateral relationship for future deal with China’s rise – integrate into global system as “responsible stakeholder” broaden focus from financial/economic relations: climate change, energy, regional and global security, global governance downplay democracy and human rights
Russia hit “reset button” on US-Russia relations “grand bargain”? missile defense, arms control (START), European security, respect for Russian interests in “near abroad” – i.e. NATO enlargement (although “no spheres of influence”) …in return for Russian cooperation on Iran, Afghanistan, drug trade, etc.
Climate change renewed US engagement and leadership post-Kyoto agreement in Copenhagen, December 2009 involve China and India domestic energy and environment plans include introduction of “cap and trade” system
Global economic crisis domestic stimulus and reform global coordination to restore international economic growth – coordinated stimulus? new regulatory system for global finance? strengthen and reform international financial institutions (IMF, IBRD) maintain global free trade system (although more protection of labor and environment; tougher stance on completing Doha)
Common US-EU interests? Iraq Middle East (Israel-Palestine) Iran Afghanistan-Pakistan (“Afpak”) China Russia climate change global financial and economic crisis