Friday, April 13, 2007

The shape of months to come?

The Council on Foreign Relations links to a "major" foreign policy speech by former governor of Massachusetts and Republican candidate for president Mitt Romney, delivered at Texas A & M with former President George H.W. Bush in attendance.

Numbers of times China mentioned?


Number of times Asia mentioned?


How a serious presidential candidate can deliver a foreign policy speech and not reference the Asia-Pacific region once -- not even in passing -- is beyond me. The US is a Pacific nation; Asia's problems are America's problems, and the challenges posed by Asia (especially by China) are not going away.

I realize, of course, that Iraq is a problem that is only getting worse, but the strategic disaster that is Iraq will be compounded if it leads the US to devote insufficient attention to the rapidly changing and growing region that is the Asia-Pacific.

I hope the Democratic contenders can do better. I hope they realize that the foreign policy issue for 2008 cannot simply be "what is to be done about Iraq"; it has to be, as suggested in this post by David Shorr at Democracy Arsenal, what is the future role for American power in the world. Maybe, as Lexington suggests in this week's Economist, Barack Obama has some ideas up his sleeve.

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