Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Obama the Hawk? Probably not...

Roland Dodds wonders if Obama will be more the hawk than the dove he seemed at first. It seems likely to me that rather than pursuing Hawkish policies, Obama is instead ensuring that his Cabinet is made up of people who can effectively transition our way out of Iraq, which would include keeping Bob Gates in Defense. Clinton in State is also savvy, but not necessarily indicitave of Hawkishness.

Obama does seem committed in Afghanistan, though finishing a war is hardly the mark of a hawk. At this point, any other course of action would be dangerous. We need to at least stabilize the situation there before making our exit. With Pakistan's fingers so deep in the mess, I'm not sure how this can be done. So in my mind, it is likely that Obama will please no one but the pragmatists.

Perhaps Douthat is right:
Among right-wing hawks, there will be strange-new-respectful talk about Obama's centrist instincts, his Scoop Jackson-ish tendencies, his Reaganesque blend of idealism, pragmatism and strength. Meanwhile, the rest of the right-wing coalition will be getting steamrolled.
I would disagree, however. Obama will do his best to disentangle us from foreign actions, and will also quite likely begin scaling back defense spending. That conservatives will be steamrolled is open to debate. Right now, we are all in this crazy economy together, and I think partisanship ought to be at the end of a long, long line...