"Barack Obama’s first major speech on foreign policy was delivered on April 23, 2007 to the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. He identified the problems the current foreign policy has caused, and the five ways America can lead again, focused on "common security", "common humanity", and remaining "a beacon of freedom and justice for the world":
- "Bringing a responsible end" to the war in Iraq and refocusing on the broader region.
- "Building the first truly 21st century military and showing wisdom in how we deploy it."
- "Marshalling a global effort" to secure, destroy, and stop the spread of weapons of mass destruction.
- "Rebuild and construct the alliances and partnerships necessary to meet common challenges and confront common threats," including climate change.
- "Invest in our common humanity" through foreign aid and supporting the "pillars of a sustainable democracy – a strong legislature, an independent judiciary, the rule of law, a vibrant civil society, a free press, and an honest police force."
In an address on national security to the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars on August 1, 2007, Obama stated that as President he would consider military action in Pakistan in order to attack al-Qaeda, even if the Pakistani government did not give approval.  Obama said, "I will not hesitate to use military force to take out terrorists who pose a direct threat to America." He also said "As President, I would deploy at least two additional brigades to Afghanistan to re-enforce our counter-terrorism operations".  Tariq Ali, an acclaimed British–Pakistani historian, criticized Obama for his comments regarding attacking terrorists inside Pakistan and stated "Were the United States to start bombing raids inside Pakistan, there would be a massive increase of support for the jihadi fundamentalist groups in that country, and it would weaken not just secular political groups, it would weaken even the moderate religious parties who are not associated with that."" Wiki
During his 2004 Senate campaign, Obama stated that he had not ruled out military action against Iran. In a meeting with the Chicago Tribune editorial board, Obama stated: "The big question is going to be, if Iran is resistant to these pressures, including economic sanctions, which I hope will be imposed if they do not cooperate, at what point are we going to take military action, if any?" Obama stressed that he would only resort to force as a last resort. Obama has not declared a change in this stance since the 2004 campaign. In 2006, he called on Iran to "take some ownership for creating some stability" in Iraq.
In an interview with Tim Russert on October 22, 2006 Obama said, "I think that military options have to be on the table when you’re dealing with rogue states that have shown constant hostility towards the United States. The point that I would make, though, is that we have not explored all of our options…We have not explored any kind of dialogue with either Iran or North Korea, and I think that has been a mistake. As a consequence, we have almost no leverage over them."
Speaking to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee on 2 March 2007, Obama stated that he regards Iran’s government as "a threat to all of us," stating that the US "should take no option, including military action, off the table, sustained and aggressive diplomacy combined with tough sanctions should be our primary means to prevent Iran from building nuclear weapons." Diplomacy would include "more determined U.S. diplomacy at the United Nations," "harnessing the collective power of our friends in Europe who are Iran’s major trading partners," and "a cooperative strategy with Gulf States who supply Iran with much of the energy resources it needs.""" Wiki
It should be clear to the reader here that I am essentially a non-interventionist when foreign policy is involved. I have "followed the drum" in many quixotic efforts to improve the general lot of mankind. The first was the Kennedy era "Alianza para el Progreso." That was a splendid effort, but it failed inthe end becasause the latifundistas liked things just fine as they had been, and, in the end, these were all their countries, and not ours. That is the essential problem in trying to "reform" countries that do not wish to be reformed. In the end, one must depart and they remain to do whatever pleases them.
An alternative would be to occupy the country(ies) in question for a hundred years or so, suppress opposition and impose our view of the goodness (truthiness?) of things.
That is called colonialism and the neocons are essentially colonialists.
On the basis of his public statements regarding what his foreign policy might be, I would have to say that Barack Obama sounds a lot like the neocons, that is, an agressive, utopian interventionist who might well pursue his ideals overseas. At the same time, his self-image as a "man of destiny," a Lincolnesque figure, may lead to attempts to transform the United States into something different, something I would not want to experience. People are always talking about "change" in our elections as though change itself is a benefit. Perhaps we should begin to ask what change is intended. pl