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John Smith
06-09-2015, 09:43 AM
I hear this phrase fairly frequently in regard to presidential hopefuls.

Seems to me we have a world situation at the moment that is kind of new. I don't think anyone has any experience dealing with it.

Anyone disagree?

I'd like to edit to add: Another thought I have following many comments by many candidates or talking heads about how we should handle many of the conflicts seem to ignore the fact that congress has ducked all of this. They are avoiding discussion and authorization for dealing with ISIS; just choose to sit back and let many members criticize our president.

When is it likely congress will do its job?

Norman Bernstein
06-09-2015, 09:50 AM
I hear this phrase fairly frequently in regard to presidential hopefuls.

Seems to me we have a world situation at the moment that is kind of new. I don't think anyone has any experience dealing with it.

VERY FEW candidates do, since they tend to be governors, not senators, and even if they are senators, only a small number get involved with the details of foreign policy and international diplomacy. Hillary might be an exception....

....but, more to the point, what REALLY matters is WHO the candidate hires to advise them on foreign policy.

For example, if you like neo-cons and war-hawks, you'll love Jeb Bush.

Gerarddm
06-09-2015, 09:54 AM
Want War? Vote Republican.

( Rand Paul, I am NOT looking at you )

Foreign policy requires a facility for nuance. Who among the candidates displays that? Or, who do they know they'd hire who displays that?

Peerie Maa
06-09-2015, 09:59 AM
I dunno. People are people are people. There will be many parallels that can be drawn from history if you know how to look.

On the ISIS issue. Whether it has been the USSR, the UK or the States, any intervention in that area has developed into a grade "A" cockup. Better to stand back and offer any help to the governments in the area that they may want to use. Keep a low profile and used quiet diplomacy to build friendships rather than to engage in Bungee intervention.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Ps4YVYPt3A

TomF
06-09-2015, 11:55 AM
The "world stage" is different from other stages to be sure - there's not much which is "like" foreign policy. Working with sovereign actors, with murky international regimes and law, with covert and overt threats of military violence ... isn't like setting budgets for public works, managing the introduction of a new domestic policy, or balancing the interests of citizens, regions, lobbyists and stakeholder groups.

I figure a capacity for strategic and critical thinking is transferrable among content areas though. So is courage, and the capacity to find and appoint capable, trustworthy advisors. After all, the subject matter experts in any field are still the subject matter experts - whose advice and empirical data-driven analysis should be the starting place for decision making. Should be true in foreign policy no less than education policy, infrastructure renewal, economic policy, or corrections.

It's an obvious "plus" if a President comes into the job with meaningful and directly transferrable foreign policy experience, but the danger is then that they disregard their subject matter experts and the data - over-estimating their own expertise. Anecdotes don't transfer, and helping to conclude mutually successful trade negotiations with France or Norway won't help one create a brilliant strategy about the DAESH. Or vice versa.

John Smith
06-09-2015, 12:16 PM
My thoughts are along the lines that 21st century 'war' is nothing like 20th century 'war'. Not all weapons are physical. Some are digital. It's just so different that little of what used to be applies.

Peerie Maa
06-09-2015, 12:22 PM
My thoughts are along the lines that 21st century 'war' is nothing like 20th century 'war'. Not all weapons are physical. Some are digital. It's just so different that little of what used to be applies.

There are alternatives to war in the spectrum of Foreign Policy. If you wanted to discuss war fighting you misnamed this thread. Foreign policy should be aimed at avoiding any and every war.