A recent op-ed in the Financial Times concludes that “[A] revival of the U.S. economy should not be confused with a resurgence of America’s role … [T]he most important emerging theme in world politics is America’s slow retreat ….” “Indispensable Americans are Pulling Back.” Financial Times (Jan. 21, 2014).
To me this “slow retreat” is certainly evidenced by the inaction of Congress to extend “fast-track” authority to President Obama. This has been to the detriment of the U.S. in global trade negotiations and world politics generally. However, I would argue that it is not the President that has engineered this slow retreat but it is massive public opinion and a totally dysfunctional Congress.
To the contrary, the President is attempting to manage both domestic and international politics and has formulated an aggressive trade strategy to compliment a more comprehensive foreign policy. A foreign policy that recognizes trade as critical to national security. He is attempting to reinvigorate trade alliances in order to strengthen the overall economic and political standing of the U.S. in the world.
This approach is, in fact, a more comprehensive foreign policy than merely resorting to military and intelligence operations throughout every corner of the globe, without very serious reflection. This approach is beneficial to the real national interests of the United States and to the global community. It’s about time that we move off a war footing to a more balanced approach to global affairs.