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Frankfurter Rundschau, Germany

No Peace, but Progress

By Daniel Haufler

Translated By Ron Argentati

8 January 2013

Edited by Gillian Palmer

Germany - Frankfurter Rundschau - Original Article (German)

With his staff choices, President Obama is sending a signal that there will be a change in his foreign policy and security policy.

It has been apparent for some time that Obama was redirecting U.S. foreign policy and security policy in the direction of Asia, without necessarily disregarding the Middle East and the war on terror. It's finally been clear since Monday who will implement that strategy: Chuck Hagel as Defense Secretary, John Kerry as Secretary of State and John Brennan as head of the CIA. Obama chose three experienced people, but the ages of those chosen shouldn't be taken as a sign that the president isn't making changes. Hagel and Kerry have both been sharply critical of Israel's policies in the Middle East and both are highly skeptical about military intervention in Iran. They both prefer to pursue diplomatic solutions to the problems there.

At the same time, Obama has chosen a CIA chief who is not only intimately familiar with the Middle East but who is the most important advisor to the president on homeland security and anti-terror matters. As such, he was involved in the operation that killed Osama bin Laden and he has defended drone attacks in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia as being morally justifiable, legal and effective.

No wars, but rather sanctions and drones. That might not be a peaceful strategy, but it is nonetheless a step in the right direction.



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