Thursday, November 19, 2009
Obama's dud of a trip
I suspect that if in some alternative universe I were ever elected president I would take as many foreign trips as possible, as quickly as possible, just for the experience. While some of his earlier trips seemed to have objectives, or at least events that could be spun as creating a new tone (e.g., the Cairo speech), Obama's Asia trip seemed more like a get-acquainted or even a tourist excursion. He certainly didn't break any ground; if anything he reinforced longstanding U.S. policy, which is to keep an inordinate number of troops in Japan and South Korea long past their due date. Doug Bandow wrote a piece suggesting some real changes that could be made in Asian policy, starting with withdrawing troops that have little or no function with the Cold War over, and firming up economic relations with China, with which there's little or no reason to be confrontational. I linked to it in a post I did for the Register's Orange Punch blog, and we actually got some fairly thoughtful comments back and forth. Take a look.