Obama’s Foreign Policy: No Sharp Break From Bush

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by Jim Lobe
Global Research, November 11, 2008
Inter Press Service

While much of the world and many of his U.S. supporters are expecting a sharp break with his predecessor’s foreign policy after President-elect Barack Obama takes office Jan. 20, they may be surprised by the degree of continuity between the two administrations.

That continuity – which would be made more concrete if, as expected, Pentagon chief Robert Gates is asked to remain at his post – has less to do with Obama’s hesitation in following through on his more sweeping campaign promises than with the fact that President George W. Bush, has quietly – if grudgingly – moved key U.S. policies in directions that are largely compatible with Obama’s own intentions.

Obama will no doubt announce a series of steps during or just after his inauguration to reaffirm to his supporters and, in the words of his victory speech Tuesday night, “to all those watching tonight from beyond our shores, from parliaments and palaces, to those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of the world, [that] our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared, a new dawn of American leadership is at hand.”

Those steps will be designed to contrast his commitment to multilateralism and diplomatic engagement with Bush’s fabled unilateralism and reliance on military power. They will probably include an immediate and comprehensive ban on the use of torture and a promise to close the Guantanamo detention facility at an early date.

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