Set The Direction

Zbigniew Brzezinski, who’d know a thing or two about dysfunctional national-security teams, is arguing quite strongly that Obama needs to be vocal about setting the direction:

[He is]  making what is, I think, an important point — if Barack Obama wants, as it seems he does, to appoint a national security “team of rivals” then he also needs to make some big, high-profile statements about the policy course he expects the team to steer. The team’s public statements have differed with each other at times and with him at times, and a world that was very excited about his election needs to hear clearly that it’s his team and his policies we’ll be looking at.

Good advice, which I suspect Obama will have no hesitation about following. Hat tip: Matt Yglesias.

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Zbig on Georgia

Jimmy Carter’s national security adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, compares Putin’s invasion of Georgia to the pre-WW2 policies of Stalin and Hitler, then manages to recommend nothing much more solid than “mobilizing [a] collective international response” with economic sanctions to deal with it. Thanks for that, Zbig, nice to know that you’re as helpful today as you were back when the peanut farmer was running things. 

It seems not to have occurred to him, by the way, that the feistier the Russians get on their borders, the closer the EU countries will want to be to the U.S. Or that the feistier Russia is on its southern border, the more willing the rulers of Iran might be to seek a rapprochement with the U.S. In crisis, opportunity.