Voices from Russia

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Barack Obama Facing Serious Problems in Foreign Policy

Filed under: Barack Obama,diplomacy,George W. Bush,politics,Russian,USA — 01varvara @ 00.00


President-elect Barack Obama (1961- )

Democrat Barack Obama won a landslide victory in the US presidential election and inherited a bushel of problems from the Bush administration. Before the results of the election were announced, The Times British edition joked that America’s problems were so grave that it would be surprising to find out that somebody sought the presidency there. First of all, for the third month running, America has been living through an economic crisis. The whole nation suffers from it to some extent or another.

Certainly, Mr Obama has to handle the US financial crisis. The issue can also be viewed as part of the US foreign policy, since many countries see the impact that the US crisis had on their economies. On 15 November, world leaders are meeting for a G20 summit in Washington to focus on what means should they use to help the global economy recover. George W. Bush will formally represent the US at the meetings, although Mr Obama will certainly be the centre of attention. The economic crisis is not the only thing the new Democratic Administration will have to deal with. The Iraqi campaign is another thorny issue on the agenda. Mr Obama promised to withdraw US troops from Iraq within 16 months after his inauguration. Washington and Baghdad are currently holding talks to achieve a bilateral agreement. The newly-elected US president shall require both political will and skill in the art of diplomacy to succeed in the negotiations. The situation in Afghanistan also needs a quick solution. Mr Obama will likely call on his supporters in the international coalition to boost their participation in the fight against the Taliban and Al Qaeda, which have become only stronger in recent months.

US relations with Iran remain tense and unpredictable. Mr Obama used to say that in settling conflicts he preferred political means rather than force. Now, he has to prove his words. As far as US-Russian cooperation is concerned, there are also some disputable points. Moscow expects the newly-elected US president to thoroughly consider the situation surrounding nuclear arms control. First of all, it is necessary to decide on a new Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty (SORT), which expires in December, 2009. Russia is ready to discuss with the US other issues concerning nuclear security and invites other countries to join the talks. The world expects Barack Obama to reasonably use the credit of trust he had received from his election victory.

6 November 2008

Eduard Sorokin

Voice of Russia World Service


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