The Plank

Obama's Speech


I'm a little late to the debate over Barack Obama's foreign policy speech yesterday. Having read the speech, I was struck that it was more hawkish than I expected. Obama positioned himself between the neoconservative idea that anti-Americanism is not a problem and the left-liberal idea that the United States has no right to flout world opinion:

We must meet those expectations again, not because being respected is an end in itself, but because the security of America and the wider world demands it.

He proposed a significant expansion of the armed forces:

I strongly support the expansion of our ground forces by adding 65,000 soldiers to the Army and 27,000 Marines.

And he explicitly embraced the possibility of unilateralism:

No President should ever hesitate to use force

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