James M. Lindsay

The Water's Edge

Lindsay analyzes the politics shaping U.S. foreign policy and the sustainability of American power.

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The World Next Week: Do We Have an Obama Doctrine?

by James M. Lindsay
March 31, 2011

President Barack Obama steps off Marine One to board Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base near Washington on March 29, 2011.

President Barack Obama steps off Marine One to board Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base near Washington on March 29, 2011. (Jim Young/courtesy Reuters)

The World Next Week Podcast is up.  Bob McMahon and I talked about the Obama administration’s varied responses to revolutions in the Middle East and North Africa; Nigeria’s upcoming parliamentary and presidential elections; the potential for a government shutdown; and our predictions for the upcoming Major League Baseball season.

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The highlights:

  • President Obama has gone out of his way to insist that he hasn’t set forth an Obama Doctrine, at least in part to spare himself political pressure to intervene militarily to stave off other potential humanitarian disasters. Obama’s message that the United States should act when our interests and values are at stake certainly isn’t new; it fits with a long line of presidential statements dating back to at least Teddy Roosevelt.
  • Nigeria’s upcoming elections have the potential to split the country, and the Obama administration’s potential options to respond to electoral violence in Nigeria are limited.
  • All signs point to Democrats and Republicans cutting a deal on the FY12 budget and staving off a government shutdown, but dissenters in both parties still have time to derail an agreement.
  • Bob picks the Phillies to win it all in October by beating the Red Sox. He has the outcome of the World Series exactly wrong.

Bob and I aren’t the only commentators discussing these issues. The Economist weighs in on the question of the Obama doctrine, and Foreign Policy.com’s “Passport” blog looks at inconsistencies in the supposed doctrine. Bloomberg covers internal disputes in the Republican party regarding the federal budget while The New York Times’ “The Caucus” is on “shutdown watch.” CNN covers the pre-election violence Nigeria is seeing, and Africa Review discusses the role of youth and social media in the upcoming election. MLB.com and ESPN.com can tell you everything you need to know about Opening Day.

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