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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Obama’s Team and Its “Doctrine”

For those trying to distinguish Barack Obama’s foreign policy/national security views from those of Hillary Clinton, and/or seeking to understand how Obama might deal with a security-heavy general election debate with John McCain, Spencer Ackerman has penned an interesting take for the American Prospect based on extensive discussions with Obama’s international policy team.
Ackerman distills both a negative and positive aspect of the “Obama Doctrine.” The negative dimension is Obama’s rejection of the political premise that Democrats can’t put too much distance between themselves and Republicans on security issues due to the party’s poor reputation on the subject. The positive dimension is an approach to post-9/11 security threats that puts a premium on fighting terrorism through a military focus on al Qaeda and an economic and diplomatic focus on “dignity promotion” as opposed to simple anti-Islamism or mechanical democracy promotion.
It’s well worth the read, whether or not you buy Ackerman’s notion that Obama is presenting a “doctrine” as opposed to a very different way of addressing widely accepted security challenges.

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