Friday, January 31, 2014

'US Officials concede: The US may not have the will or the means to insist on the outcomes it wants'

'... US officials realize that the point under discussion in foreign policy circles around the world is not the level of US activity in the world. This remains high. Next week, for example, Kerry will engage in the US-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue and Deputy Secretary of State Burns has just concluded the latest round of the US-China Asia Pacific Consultations. US reaction to world events, for example in Egypt, South Sudan orUkraine, remains instantaneous and global. The real point, these same officials concede in private, is whether the US has the will or the means to insist on the outcomes it wants. Here the evidence is more ambiguous. On issues as diverse as putting the Joint Plan of Action with Iran into operation, negotiating bilateral security agreement with Afghan President Karzai, steering the Geneva II conference on Syria, managing the direction of the Arab Spring or mediating between the increasingly bitter exchanges between China and Japan senior Administration policy-makers acknowledge some tangible loss of leverage...'

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