"Surely the United States can do more than one thing at once, the foreign-policy equivalent of walking and chewing gum at the same time. But America must also do multiple things well. Obama can't have an inch-deep and mile-wide approach in which he commits to everything without a cruel and unforgiving assessment of what's really possible and what's not. Nor can the United States afford another high-profile failure based on what a brilliant and committed Clinton told us shortly before we went to Camp David: 'Guys, trying and failing is a lot better than not trying at all.' This is an appropriate slogan for a high school football team; it's not a substitute for a well-thought-out strategy for the world's greatest power. Obama already has made a commitment to the American people to end two wars, keep them safe from attack at home, and stop Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, not to mention tackling the challenges of a severe recession and growing deficit.
Governing is about choosing; it's about setting priorities, managing your politics, thinking strategically, picking your spots, and looking for genuine opportunities that can be exploited -- not tilting at windmills. And these days, Arab-Israeli peacemaking is a pretty big windmill."
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Aaron David Miller: