Amidst rumors that President Obama prefers Elizabeth Warren to carry the Democratic banner in two years, former Clinton Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers has an …interesting… op-ed in the New York Times. There’s some scathing stuff in there about the “erosion” of American leadership around the world:
When the Berlin Wall fell and the nations of central Europe and the former Soviet Union needed to transform their economies, when financial crisis struck Asia in 1997 and when debt burdens stunted Africa’s growth around the turn of the century, the United States, working with its allies and the international financial institutions, crafted strong if imperfect responses to restore growth and hope. No comparably large and generous effort is visible today with respect to the Middle East or Ukraine, even as China is emerging as a greater presence in much of Africa and Latin America than the United States.
A failure to engage effectively with global economic issues is a failure to mount a strong forward defense of U.S. interests. That we cannot do everything must not become a reason not to do anything. While elections may turn on domestic preoccupations, history’s judgment will turn on what the United States does internationally. Passivity’s moment has past.
Summers opens with a warning against sitting on a lead, making “a strategic error,” and “excessive caution.” What’s curious though is what he never says: President Obama.
But we all know who he means, don’t we?