Will the name Obama join those of Monroe, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Carter, Reagan, Clinton and Bush as being commonly collocated with the word “doctrine,” as shorthand for a particular position a US President takes on a foreign policy issues? Many analysts and pundits are saying that after today’s Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech it will be.
This afternoon Max Fisher posed the question, “What is the Obama Doctrine?” and highlighted various answers he has come across:
'Mulilateralism With Teeth' The Atlantic's Chris Good heard Obama describe "engagement with teeth, coupled with a strong international commitment."
All About Intervention The American Prospect's Adam Serwer describes "unflinching defenses of American military intervention" and "American exceptionalism that demands certain standards of American conduct, not one that justifies our actions when we fall short. It neither justifies violence as a solution to all problems nor condemns it as useless."
Ending 'Politics of Fear' Spencer Ackerman writes, "Notice this is not about forswearing violence. It is about what to do over the long term to make violence less necessary. Obama said he would end a counterproductive war, and do so gradually. That’s exactly what he’s done. Obama said he would escalate a war he considered in the national interest. That’s exactly what he’s done."
'Realism With A Heart' Politico's Ben Smith explains. "Obama is trying to sell his foreign policy at home and abroad without public reference to human rights, viewed by this White House as cheap -- as used by Bush -- and potentially counterproductive. The challenge is to make cold-eyed realism appealing -- to create a kind of realism with a heart."
Improved, Humanitarian Realism The New Republic's Jon Chait says Obama "rebuked the left" as well as "the blinkered nationalism of the neoconservatives" to arrive at "a careful middle ground between the bloodlessness of realism and the unrealistic hope that America can stop evil everywhere.”
Realism Merged With Idealism The Plum Line's Greg Sargent suggests, "Obama seems to be trying to recast idealism in foreign policy as of a piece with realism, in the sense that a realistic and self-interested view of the world should hold that American ideals are more likely to foster peace and stability. Realistic idealism? Idealistic realism?"
That's Old Territory The New Republic's Michael Crowley rejects the idea that combining realism with idealism is anything innovative. "[L]et's pause to note that setting up these alternatives and then embracing some synthesis between them is a hoary cliche of foreign policy speechmaking. Hillary Clinton, among many other people,made the same case more than two years ago. So did Robert Gates."
Obama Doctrine Is Bush Doctrine RedState's Erick Erickson thinks so. "I was surprised by Obama's speech. Parts sounded like full throated support for the Bush doctrine." He's not alone among conservatives.
What Doctrine? Wonkette's Jim Newell rolls his eyes. "Every president needs his own Military Doctrine, and sure, this'll do.
What do you think? Has the term ‘The Obama Doctrine’ permanently entered the political lexicon? If so, what do you think it is?