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Campaign 2008

The Candidates and the World

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The Candidates, the World, and CFR.org’s Foreign Policy Journey in the 2008 Campaign

by Robert McMahon, Editor CFR.org

When CFR.org started blogging on the U.S. presidential campaign back in May 2007, the foreign policy terrain appeared relatively uncomplicated. The war in Iraq looked to be the dominant issue. Under the surface, of course, were many simmering issues related to foreign policy and a surprising number emerged as flashpoints during the ensuing campaign – and provided rich mining for our blog – including immigration for the Republicans and trade for the Democrats. The assassination of a Pakistani prime minister and the outbreak of war between Russia and Georgia during the course of the campaigns brought concerns about U.S. policy toward Islamabad and Moscow to the fore. But the main surging issue turned out to be the economy. Like so many of the other issues there were cross-sections for domestic and foreign policy here, as underscored in this CFR.org Issue Guide.

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Morning Update: Obama Inauguration

by campaign2008

With Barack Obama set to become the forty-fourth president of the United States today, analysts of international affairs are looking ahead at the policy measures the new administration will seek to implement. A new Daily Analysis from CFR.org examines the landscape, noting that Obama will take office bolstered by goodwill at home and abroad, but that he will instantly be confronted by a dizzying series of challenges. Obama’s most urgent priority, it seems, will be passing a sweeping economic stimulus package, the details of which Democratic lawmakers unveiled late last week. But the new administration will also be tasked with overseeing an orderly drawdown of U.S. troops in Iraq; finding a way forward in Afghanistan; managing tense and potentially volatile situations in South Asia and the Middle East; and forging a strategy for dealing with nuclear North Korea and an Iranian state bent on developing a nuclear energy program, and perhaps nuclear weapons. The Economist examines several of these issues and the leaders Obama has appointed to oversee their management in a new article and accompanying interactive graphic.

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Clinton’s ‘Smart Power’ Strategy

by Joanna Klonsky

At her confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday, Secretary of State-designate Hillary Clinton said the United States should “pursue a strategy of smart power in the Middle East,” and should not “give up on peace” in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In her opening statement Tuesday, Clinton: Read more »

Morning Update: Clinton Hearing

by campaign2008

The U.S. Congress opens confirmation hearings today for Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY), whom President-elect Barack Obama has nominated to serve as secretary of state. Reuters says a smooth hearing is expected, though Clinton is likely to face questions about the foreign business dealings of her husband, former President Bill Clinton, who recently revealed that some foreign governments have been major donors to his foundation.

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Morning Update: Closing Guantanamo

by campaign2008

President-elect Barack Obama says it “is more difficult than I think a lot of people realize” to close the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He told ABC News in an interview Sunday he was committed to closing the center but it would take time and must be done “in a way that doesn’t result in releasing people who are intent on blowing us up.”

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Quote: Obama on Dennis Blair

by campaign2008

“As DNI, Dennis will be the leader and manager of our intelligence community. He will have my full support as he develops our capabilities, strengthens information sharing, enhances cooperation with foreign governments, and provides policymakers with the information we need – even if it’s not always the information we want.”

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