Friday, December 5, 2008

Seize the Moment

A terrific interview on American foreign policy in South Asia after the Mumbai attacks. Fareed Zakaria from Newsweek, Steve Coll from The New Yorker, and former Under Secretary of State, Nicholas Burns, discuss responsibility for the attacks in Mumbai, how to get Pakistan and India reconciled, options for Iran, and how Obama can remake the world through these crises. Zakaria, near the end of the interview, offers a vision for how Obama can approach his foreign policy vision and warns him against being too reactive and forgetting to plot out what he wants to make the world look like. A lack of foresight has never been an issue for our President Elect, but it's a good insight into the man's mind. From Zakaria, below:

"The great danger in foreign policy is everything is so urgent that you have to respond to it, and you forget what is really important. You become entirely reactive. It's entirely understandable. And I think what Obama should do, he should sit back and ask himself 'what do I want the world to look like two years from now four years from now six years from now?' and try to sketch out an architecture that he wants to get to and then use these crises - you know, never let a crisis go to waste - to push forward toward that vision rather than just episodically putting out fires."

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