by Daniel W. Drezner // Tufts University - Fletcher School of Diplomacy
Foreign policy and national security are inherently political bailiwicks.It is increasingly difficult for presidents to launch major foreign-policy initiatives without a modicum of popular and congressional support. To accuse the Obama administration of factoring in the political is to accuse it of not committing political malpractice. In retrospect, had Bush and his advisor Karl Rove factored politics into their National Security Strategy, maybe it would not have been so unsustainable.
I have no doubt that Gates thinks of himself as having been beyond the political fray, crafting policy decisions like a Platonic guardian surrounded by a sea of political pack rats. As an ex-cabinet member who has left the political stage, he's entitled to that opinion. But he's not allowed to pretend that it's worse now than it used to be.
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