More of Obama in the Middle

Yesterday, in his foreign policy speech, Barack Obama said

And just as we renew longstanding efforts, so must we shape new ones to meet new challenges. That’s why I’ll create a Shared Security Partnership Program – a new alliance of nations to strengthen cooperative efforts to take down global terrorist networks, while standing up against torture and brutality. That’s why we’ll work with the African Union to enhance its ability to keep the peace. That’s why we’ll build a new partnership to roll back the trafficking of drugs, and guns, and gangs in the Americas. That’s what we can do if we are ready to engage the world.

We will have to provide meaningful resources to meet critical priorities. I know development assistance is not the most popular program, but as President, I will make the case to the American people that it can be our best investment in increasing the common security of the entire world. That was true with the Marshall Plan, and that must be true today. That’s why I’ll double our foreign assistance to $50 billion by 2012, and use it to support a stable future in failing states, and sustainable growth in Africa; to halve global poverty and to roll back disease. To send once more a message to those yearning faces beyond our shores that says, “You matter to us. Your future is our future. And our moment is now.”

Also yesterday, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said:

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates renewed his call Tuesday for more spending on U.S. diplomacy and international aid, saying the U.S. government risks “creeping militarization” of its foreign policy by focusing its resources on the Pentagon.

With Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in attendance, Gates said in a speech that the government’s civilian institutions, especially those with the tasks of diplomacy and development, had been undermanned and underfunded since the end of the Cold War.

. . .

“The solution is not to be found in some slick PR campaign or by trying to out-propagandize Al Qaeda, but through the steady accumulation of actions and results that build trust and credibility over time,” Gates said.

Again, Obama is squarely in the middle, yet where he was months ago, at the same time.

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