USA

On the table: Obama's foreign policy

It's not just razzmatazz at the conventions. On the sidelines of the Democratic convention, the National Democratic Institute (NDI), a Washington DC-based think tank, held a panel on what a Barack Obama presidency could mean for US foreign policy. The answer, according to our Observer Julissa Reynoso, who attended the panel, could be a focus on development - a term that turned distinctly unsexy during the Bush years. Read more...

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It's not just razzmatazz at the conventions. On the sidelines of the Democratic convention, the National Democratic Institute (NDI), a Washington DC-based think tank, held a panel on what a Barack Obama presidency could mean for US foreign policy. The answer, according to our Observer Julissa Reynoso, who attended the panel, could be a focus on development - a term that turned distinctly unsexy during the Bush years.

"'Development' ... is such a step out from Republican John McCain's idea of foreign policy"

Julissa Reynoso attended the panel.

The NDI (National Democratic Institute) panel on Obama's foreign policy was remarkable. It featured Obama's senior foreign policy advisors, so it was great to hear the discourse. I kept hearing the word 'development' - that, in itself, is such a step out from Republican John McCain's idea of foreign policy.

Here's a shot of the panelists having a go at a likely Obama foreign policy platform. They include heavy-hitters like Susan Rice - she's sitting fourth from the left. Rice was a former foreign policy advisor to Bill Clinton. Anthony Lake, who was Clinton's National Security Advisor, was also there. Lake is very nuanced, he's been around for so long now. I must say Rice, in particular, was very impressive. 

There was a lot of talk of using development as a means of resolving conflict and also on the importance of dealing with ordinary people and providing them an opportunity to perceive the US as an ally. The underlying theme of course, was how much work it would take to get the world to respect us and cooperate with us again after the Bush years.

There was also talk about closing Guantanamo Bay. Although these were just discussions, it sounds like something that could be integrated into the Democratic platform. That was good to hear.

For me, it was just good to hear the word 'development' - it hasn't come up in such a long time now."

 

The panellists on stage.