Obama’s doctrine, which supporters claim emphasises negotiation and collaboration over confrontation and unilateralism, has actually been working in a way that is more dangerous than the Bush administration’s policies. This was said by Professor Paul D Scott, an American professor based in East Asia, during a seminar at Trust for Voluntary Organisations (TVO) on Tuesday.
He called Obama’s foreign policy doctrine “extremely rhetorical”. “They are just nice words,” he said, while underscoring that only 4% of the American population thinks that foreign policy is important.
About Pakistan, Scott said Pak-US ties could have been beneficial if Pakistan had played its cards right. If Pakistan had struck better deals they would have benefitted and overall development could have been much higher.
Scott said, “Pakistan and US still need to make more deals. Let them in and strike better deals while making better use of resources, which could be beneficial for both countries.”
He said today, America is suffering economically. “Bill Clinton left the US with a budget surplus and today [America] is lagging in major industries such as technology and other sectors.”
Scott said during the cold war, “America had clients while the Soviet Union had puppets”. He said that in the 1990s, the US became the engine of the world economy and that world economy has become difficult to manage now.
The US may still the global power but the way that power is exercised is affecting it.
Post September 11, two-thirds of the international community became anti-American and anti-Bush to the extent that it was difficult for Americans to travel anywhere in the world.
“Americans are like wolves in sheep’s clothing,” said Scott. He said America should be honest its interference in other states and transparent about its interests – be it oil or power or anything else.
Scott said that with a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of US$15 trillion, the country has the potential to help more than 20 countries of the world.
Between $1 trillion and $1.4 trillion a year is spent on security, which is about 3.4% of the GDP. He said the Unites States could give US$2 billion to each of the 200 UN member states and still have enough left to manage their own country.
Touching on Afghanistan, the professor asked, “How is Afghanistan a threat to the US?” He added, “There were mostly Saudis on those planes,” in reference to the fact that 15 of the 19 hijackers involved in 9/11 were Saudi citizens.
Published In The Express Tribune, June 20th, 2012.
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