Stratfor, part 1

Below you’ll find the first of four articles I’m going to post here from a company called Stratfor. Take a few minutes and check them out – they provide free newsletters covering topics worth thinking about. For the article below, it’s pretty lengthy, so grab a cup of coffee and settle in. You’ll be glad you did.

(Update – sorry about the layout issues – should be corrected now. Thanks for the heads-up, Lynn!)

Part 1 – The New President and the Global Landscape  – September 23

By George Friedman

It has often been said that presidential elections are all about the economy. That just isn’t true. Harry Truman’s second election was all about Korea. John Kennedy’s election focused on missiles, Cuba and Berlin. Lyndon Johnson’s and Richard Nixon’s elections were heavily about Vietnam. Ronald Reagan’s first election pivoted on Iran. George W. Bush’s second election was about Iraq. We won’t argue that presidential elections are all about foreign policy, but they are not all about the economy. The 2008 election will certainly contain a massive component of foreign policy.

We have no wish to advise you how to vote. That’s your decision. What we want to do is try to describe what the world will look like to the new president and consider how each candidate is likely to respond to the world. In trying to consider whether to vote for John McCain or Barack Obama, it is obviously necessary to consider their stands on foreign policy issues. But we have to be cautious about campaign assertions. Kennedy claimed that the Soviets had achieved superiority in missiles over the United States, knowing full well that there was no missile gap. Johnson attacked Barry Goldwater for wanting to escalate the war in Vietnam at the same time he was planning an escalation. Nixon won the 1968 presidential election by claiming that he had a secret plan to end the war in Vietnam. What a candidate says is not always an indicator of what the candidate is thinking.

To read the rest of this article, click here.

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