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Monday, April 4, 2016

More Foreign Policy

Obama and Cuban President Raúl Castro at the Summit of the Americas last spring (Pete Souza / White House)
. . . a president who has grown steadily more fatalistic about the constraints on America’s ability to direct global events . . . his growing sense that larger forces—the riptide of tribal feeling in a world that should have already shed its atavism; the resilience of small men who rule large countries in ways contrary to their own best interests; the persistence of fear as a governing human emotion—frequently conspire against the best of America’s intentions. But he also has come to learn, he told me, that very little is accomplished in international affairs without U.S. leadership. - Jeffery Goldberg's story in The Atlantic

Scowcroft awardScowcroft was the inspiration and namesake for a special presidential award begun under the George H. W. Bush administration. According to Robert Gates, the award is given to the official "who most ostentatiously falls asleep in a meeting with the president." According to Gates, the president "evaluated candidates on three criteria. First, duration — how long did they sleep? Second, the depth of the sleep. Snoring always got you extra points. And third, the quality of recovery. Did one just quietly open one's eyes and return to the meeting, or did you jolt awake and maybe spill something hot in the process?" According to Bush himself, the award "gives extra points for he/she who totally craters, eyes tightly closed, in the midst of meetings, but in fairness a lot of credit is given for sleeping soundly while all about you are doing their thing." ]Scowcroft had gained a reputation for doing such things to the extent that it became a running gag. - Wikipedia

Brent Scowcroft KBE was the United States National Security Advisor under U.S. Presidents Gerald Ford and George H. W. Bush.

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