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July 16, 2008

Obama, The Military & The People - Peas in a Pod
Posted by Michael Cohen

To follow on David Shorr's post below, I wanted to flag a new poll of military officers by the Center for US Global Engagement. James Martin over at the Plank has the goods:

According to a majority of those polled, the overriding foreign policy concern of the nation--after "forcefully" defending itself from serious security threats--must be to "restore respect for U.S. around [the] world." What's more, according to the armed forces' top brass, the second highest national security priority (behind improved counter-insurgency training) must be to strengthen our diplomatic standing around the globe and to improve our efforts to "cooperate" with others.This is, of course, for strategic, not sentimental, reasons: According to more than three-quarters of the officers queried, the level of respect for the U.S. abroad makes "a lot of difference" to its ability to achieve military objectives.

As Obama makes clear this isn't about being liked; it's about strengthening America's national interests. And it's not just the military, according to a new Washington Post poll, a whopping 82% of voters think the United States' image in the world has been "badly damaged" during the Bush years -- and "by 2 to 1, Americans think that Obama would do more to improve the country's image abroad than McCain would."

It's good to see that there is broad consensus in the country about the value of having good relations with the rest of the world.


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