Obama’s address to the Army cadets offered the usual laudatory references to American military’s greatness and history. Including the ‘I’m your commander-in-chief but really ok guy’ jokes. Naturally, Obama’s omission of Wolfowitzian unilateral, unchallenged American power gets pundits’ tongues wagging. His embrace of diplomacy as a much needed option for exhausted recourse to military action welcome but also old news. We ain’t got the mojo no more – militarily or diplomatically. Even the Brazilian president, together with the Turkish prime minister, got the memo when cutting their own deal with Iran.
More important to the Stiftung was Obama’s indirect warning to the military establishment – the salad days are winding down. And with them? The last tangible claim America has to some kind of global centrality. He reminded all listening that American power’s foundation was, is, and will be our economic health. He indirectly alluded to its haggard state. We think it’s noteworthy Obama observed to the military that the American people need to start making things. We must engage in real economic activity (lawyers, politicians, Facebook devotees, media ‘personalities’ and wedding planners excepted) to support a world class military. As ritual requires, any hint of truth must be dosed with copious dollops of ritualistic cant about America’s future has never been brighter because [insert macro here i.e.,’the genius of American enterprise’, ‘the unparalleled creativity of the American worker’, etc.]
Obama hitched his horse to victory in Afghanistan. It’ll be interesting to see how he defines it down.
We have brought hope to the Afghan people; now we must see that their country does not fall prey to our common enemies,” Obama said. “There will be difficult days ahead. But we will adapt, we will persist, and I have no doubt that together with our Afghan and international partners, we will succeed in Afghanistan.