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Obama Foreign Policy May Keep Some Bush Initiatives
Ken Fireman and Viola Gienger
November 5, 2008
President-elect Barack Obama is committed to a foreign policy of intense diplomatic engagement with allies and adversaries alike and an international approach to curb nuclear proliferation and terrorism.
He will move to implement pledges to accelerate the U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq, build up American forces in Afghanistan and ask allies to play a bigger role in the fight against a resurgent Taliban, advisers say.
Obama, 47, has cast his foreign policy approach as pragmatic rather than ideological, focused on diplomacy and partnerships and not hog-tied to Iraq. He calls it a more modern strategy for the boundary-blind threats of the 21st century.
“To all those watching from beyond our shores, our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand,” Obama said in his victory speech in Chicago’s Grant Park. “To those who would tear the world down: We will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security: We support you.”
In a number of areas, there is likely to be continuity with the policies of President George W. Bush.
Obama has described a middle path on China much like Bush’s, seeking expanded contacts while pressing for economic concessions. He has criticized Russia for supporting breakaway Georgian territories while eschewing confrontational measures such as expulsion from summits of the Group of Eight economic powers.
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