历史的弧线:奥巴马外交政策评说(8)天津海泰发展二道

来源:互联网新闻 时间:2020-05-02 09:12

能源和气候政策是另外一个例子。奥巴马在2009年的最初愿望是,通过协商推动所有国家作出减少温室气体排放的承诺。这个愿望是庄重的,甚至在一定层面上是高尚的。这表明在气候变化问题上,奥巴马认真而审慎,也正是这样的认真和审慎,使得这位总统追求的不仅仅是面子成绩,而是实实在在的成功。然而,为了限制美国的排放,他所倡导的总量管制和交易办法,部分是失败的。因为在许多共和党人看来,这是一种变相的税收。正因为这些,奥巴马招致了更多共和党人的挖苦和反对。而在奥巴马执政之初,共和党人就已发誓要将其击败。如果结合美国众议院发言人南希 佩洛西斗志昂扬的方式,并对医疗改革、经济刺激计划和银行救助方案的通过投以关注,在保守派看来,奥巴马热衷于政府干预的个性会再次得到证明,从而导致奥巴马刺激经济增长的道路走起来更加艰难。

在国内,奥巴马雄心勃勃的国内议程未能获得一致支持,复苏美国经济的时间也远超预期,这给奥巴马的海外形象造成了负面影响,容易让人产生这样的联想:一个弱小的总统在领导着一个步履蹒跚的大国。反过来,这会令奥巴马与外国领导人交往时更加困难重重。

国内的官僚程序也存在问题。奥巴马集外交政策的决策权于白宫,在不亟需做决定的情况下,他常常鼓励冗长的审议过程,最后时刻才会给出总统的裁断,而相关党派几乎没有商议时间。最糟糕的例证是他对于中东和平问题的处理,他针对这个问题提出的设想有根本性的缺陷。他决心无视以色列公众舆论,甚至与阿拉伯街头[4]建立关系,这些都意味着他放弃了对付一个棘手的以色列总理的手段。这样,他设计起了几乎注定要失败的和平进程——而反过来,他最终让阿拉伯世界的理想走向了幻灭,因此,他现在在当地的民调结果和当年的乔治 布什一样低。

阿拉伯觉醒运动带给奥巴马多重挑战,动摇了美国在中东地区的影响力根基。而且,阿拉伯运动也对奥巴马提出了要求,要求他在促进自由和正义的内在理想主义冲动和由此会导致美国利益损失的外在现实主义之间取得平衡。奥巴马的理想主义直觉,促使他想要支持埃及历史中正确的一方,但事实是他理性地放弃了穆巴拉克,帮助维护埃及军队的地位,体现了他对于埃及在整个中东地区平衡中的重要地位的现实主义理解。(高菲 译)

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[4]阿拉伯街头:指的是阿拉伯国家的基层社会民意。

Energy and climate policy provide another example. Obama’s initial aspiration in 2009 to negotiate binding commitments on greenhouse gas emissions on all countries was serious and even noble at one level, reflecting a sobriety about the problem of climate change that convinced the president to go for a major success rather than window dressing. However, the cap-and-trade approach he advocated for limiting U.S. emissions failed in part because it was, in the eyes of many Republicans, a tax in disguise. As such, it engendered an increasingly vitriolic opposition from Republicans who had vowed to defeat him from the very beginning of his presidency. When combined with a combative approach from Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and a focus on passing health care reform as well as the economic stimulus and bank bailout efforts, it sealed Obama’s identity in conservative eyes as a traditional big-government liberal and severely complicated his efforts to stimulate economic growth.

Failure to promote consensus at home in support of his ambitious domestic agenda negatively affected Obama’s image abroad as the U.S. economy took far longer than expected to recover, feeding the perception of a weak president leading a stumbling giant. And that in turn made it more difficult for Obama to get his way with foreign leaders.

There have been problems with the internal bureaucratic process, too. President Obama centralized foreign policy decision-making within the White House and encouraged a deliberative process that often resembled a debating society when issues did not need an immediate decision, resulting in last-minute presidential judgments that left little time for consultation with the affected parties. The most unfortunate manifestation has been in his handling of Middle East peace, where the president had a theory of the case that was fundamentally flawed. His determination to ignore Israeli public opinion even as he cultivated the Arab street meant that he relinquished his one source of effective leverage on a recalcitrant Israeli prime minister. In so doing, he thereby set up the peace process for almost certain failure—and in turn, he ultimately produced disillusionment in the Arab world, so that now his poll numbers there are as low as George W. Bush’s had been before him.

The Arab awakenings presented Obama with multiple challenges to the very foundations of American influence in the Middle East. And they required him to reconcile his inner idealistic urge to promote freedom and justice with his outer realism about the dangers to U.S. interests in doing so. His idealistic instincts led him to want to get on the right side of Egyptian history, and unsentimentally abandoning Mubarak and helping to protect the role of the Egyptian military demonstrated a realist’s understanding of the critical role Egypt plays in the larger Middle Eastern balance.

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