According to Tuomas Forsberg, Professor of International Politics at Tampere University, there was a need for Obamas speech to reinforce the peoples belief in the Democrats ability to lead U.S. foreign policy and take care of the countrys security.
Forsberg examines Obamas speech and how it lays out foreign policy:
-The Republicans have thus far had the upper hand on foreign policy issues in these elections. This is the conception the Democrats are now trying to change. They want to dispel worries of the Democrats perceived "softness."
From Finlands point of view, Forsberg finds it interesting that Obama remains silent on the situation in Georgia. Forsberg remarks: He does not specify how Russia should be dealt with from now on. Obama is content to merely mention that attempts should be made to check Russias aggressiveness.
To the expert of international politics it is also interesting how Obama makes almost no mention of NATO in his speech. It is surprising. Apparently NATO isnt as high on his agenda as to warrant a place in his speech, Forsberg says. He finds it likely that the opposing candidate, John McCain, will have both Russia and NATO featured in his speech more prominently.
According to Forsberg the different emphasis these issues receive from the candidates could be explained by their generational gap. McCain is more of a product of the Cold War era. In Obamas world view these issues might simply not have the same role as in McCains.