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***MULTILATERALISM*** Yes Multilateralism

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Yes Multilateralism

Obama solves multilat

Ozhan 6/3/10 – Director General of the SETA Foundation (Taha, “Multilateralism in foreign policy and nuclear swap deal,”, WRW)
Since September 11, 2001, America's foreign policy and the future of the global system have occupied a central place in current international affairs debates. The neocon arguments became increasingly influential during the last years of the Clinton administration and found resonance in the Bush administration. In the aftermath of the 9/11 events, both the ideological arguments and the excuses were in place for the realization of the neocon project. This period witnessed the deterioration of already weakened international institutions and the "global order." The end results were, among other things, the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan as well as the tacit support for the Israeli attacks on Lebanon and Gaza. The overall political cost of all these policies was roundly criticized by many and analyzed as the paramount example of American "unilateralism." The United States has entered into six different wars since the fall of the Berlin Wall. Its involvement in wars in Panama, Somalia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq (twice) has shown that the US has become more of a force causing frictions than fostering mutual understanding appropriate for the nature of the post-Cold War global system. Towards the end of the second term of the Bush administration, similar criticisms and perspectives began to be offered by prominent American thinkers, politicians, and in military circles that centered around three major issues: 1) multi-polarity and multilateralism; 2) emerging powers; and 3) post-America. These discussions were further encouraged by Obama's election to the American presidency, which appeared as an influential and inspiring factor for the establishment of a new and different approach to the changing global order. Obama came to power strongly utilizing the rhetoric of change. There was an expectation, both domestically and internationally, that he was going to follow a very different route from that of the Bush administration. Although he started off his administration having to be a spectator to the Israeli attack on Gaza, Obama underlined that his administration's attitude in dealing with global problems was going to involve more dialogue and a more democratic approach. Especially on the issues of Iran, Afghanistan, and Iraq, he pledged that he was going to stay away from the previous administration's approach and policies. However, he first had to take a step backwards on the Afghanistan issue, and then, he let the Iraq issue take on an unclear course. The Obama administration's approach to the Iran issue is now swinging in the opposite direction after Iran accepted the IAEA's October 2009 offer on a fuel-swap through the recent diplomatic efforts of Brazil and Turkey.
Multilat high – NPT meetings

Feaver 6/1/10 – professor of political science and public policy and Bass Fellow at Duke University, and director of the Triangle Institute for Security Studies and the Duke Program in American Grand Strategy (Peter, “Assessing a benchmark in Obama’s 'yes, but' strategy,”, WRW)
The end of the NonProliferation Treaty Review conference provides an opportunity to assess how well President Obama's "Yes, But" strategy is working. My provisional assessment: not as well as I might have hoped. Recall that Obama's foreign policy efforts of the past 16 months can be summarized as one long effort to neutralize the talking points of countries unwilling to partner more vigorously with the United States on urgent international security priorities (like countering the Iranian regime's nuclear weapons program). Despite a determined and focused effort at forging effective multilateralism, the Bush administration enjoyed only mixed success on the thorniest problems. The Obama team came in believing that more could have been achieved if the United States had made more concessions up front to address the talking points of complaints/excuses would-be partners offered as rationalizations for not doing more. Yes, Iran's pursuit of a nuclear weapon is a problem, but what about Israel's? The Bush administration tended to view these talking points skeptically as a distraction and was not willing to pay much of a price in order to buy a rhetorical marker to offer in rebuttal. By contrast, the Obama Administration embraced them and devoted themselves to buying markers to deploy in response: Yes, but we have gone further than any other U.S. administration effort to publicly delegitimize the nuclear program of our ally Israel, so what about it, why don't you do more to help us on Iran? The just completed NPT Review conference was in some sense the ultimate benchmark for assessing the "Yes, But" strategy. The last review conference in 2005 collapsed in mutual recriminations with states unwilling to accept the Bush administration's prioritization of nonproliferation threats and responses. The Obama administration was determined to do better and by one measure they did: instead of diplomats storming out of the room, the 2010 NPT Review conference produced a document the states were willing to sign. This allowed the administration to boast, "We've got the NPT back on track." But in exchange for this, the United States endorsed an action plan that contains provisions Obama's National Security Advisor Jim Jones has characterized as "deplorable." As the Post describes it: "The United States got few of the specific goals it sought at the conference, such as penalties for nations that secretly develop nuclear weapons, then quit the pact (think North Korea). Language calling on countries to allow tougher nuclear inspections was greatly watered down." It is an action plan that singles out Israel by name for criticism but does not criticize Iran. The hypocrisy in the action plan was so great that apparently many countries were surprised when Obama's negotiators swallowed it. Obama's surprise last-minute concession temporarily wrong-footed the Iranian delegation. I do not know whether this compromise is the best that could have been negotiated in 2010. I do suspect, however, that something like it was achievable in 2005 -- meaning that if the Bush Administration had been willing to sign a "deplorable" compromise it could have done so in 2005. If I am right about that, then perhaps the "Yes, But" strategy failed. As the Post story put it: "Still, U.S. officials appeared frustrated that the Obama administration did not get more credit for its record. It has signed a new arms-reduction treaty with Russia, hosted a 47-nation summit on nuclear security and lessened the role of nuclear weapons in U.S. defense policy. "The disarmament stuff Obama did, they just pocketed," said David Albright, president of the Institute for Science and International Security. Non-nuclear countries, he said, "didn't give anything back."" The "Yes, But" strategy was supposed to elicit better cooperation and more effective multilateralism -- what Obama's NSS has called "An international order advanced by U.S. leadership that promotes peace, security, and opportunity through stronger cooperation to meet global challenges." This benchmark would be met if the preliminary concessions sealed deals at lower prices. But if even after all the preliminary concessions our would-be partners still demand top dollar for their grudging acquiescence, it is hard to see what the "Yes, But" strategy won us.

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