Foreign Policy Blogs

An Asian Perspective on US Diplomacy

Senator Obama's policy of negotiating with our enemies has come under fire recently from both Senator McCain as well as from Senator Clinton.

Philip Fernando the former editor of a Sri Lankan paper, the Sunday Observer, weighs in on the issue in a piece published yesterday by the Asian Tribune.

Here's an excerpt:

“Obama has seized the opening he got branding the reversal of the openness in foreign policy by the Bush-McCain combo a serious flaw in US policy. His foreign policy stance based on productive diplomacy has not diminished his popularity. It only reminded voters of McCain's ties to Bush, whose approval rating is now at record lows. The vastly unpopular Iraq war added to McCain's woes.

There is greater response to the Obama style "think as you govern" approach to foreign policy judging by the following he has. The doctrinaire right or left-wing theories with scant results to show for them are becoming obsolete.

McCain is openly challenging that position calling Obama's attempt to have tea with Ahmadinejad or Raul Castro is an extremely risky business. Whether the electorate has the stomach to digest that would remain one of defining moments of the 2008 election campaign.

McCain has attacked Obama's foreign policy stance repeatedly. President Bush used the fear factor effectively to win his second term in 2004-potential terrorist attacks dominated his speeches. McCain may be relying on the posture that he is stronger on defense and paint Obama as a weakling.

But Iraq war is not an easy one for the Republicans to swallow after the announcement "mission accomplished" Iraq four years go, still lingering in memory. Many point to the fact that US foreign policy under Bush had not made any gains in the international field. The country is looking isolationist and less secure. Fierce diplomacy as the first option is becoming a major campaign focus.”



Melinda Brouwer

Melinda Brower holds a Masters degree in Global Politics from the London School of Economics and Political Science. She received her bachelor's degree in Political Science and Spanish at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She received a graduate diploma in International Relations from the University of Chile during her tenure as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar. She has worked on Capitol Hill, at the State Department, for Foreign Policy magazine and the American Academy of Diplomacy. She presently works for an internationally focused non-profit research organization in Washington, DC.