No Reset Button in Foreign Policy
Nick Gvosdev, the outgoing Editor of The National Interest and soon-to-be professor at the Naval War College makes a point that can’t be emphasized enough: “[T]here is no ‘reset’ button in U.S. foreign policy. . . . [N]o matter who the next president is, there are challenges to be faced that will require adaption to the changes occurring underway in the international system.”
While this is obvious in many ways, candidates and their supporters often talk as if this is not the case. The world does not suddenly change the day a new president takes office nor is the new guy free to promulgate policies without regard to what has happened before. The countries with whom we must engage will continue to have the same interests, issues, and institutions that they have now. International alliances, institutions, and treaties are already in place.
None of this is to say it doesn’t matter whether McCain or Obama wins; it does. But neither will remake U.S. foreign policy overnight. Or even in four years.