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First Crisis

One sure event in every president's first few months in office is a crisis. Some crises are predictable, like the economic depression Franklin Roosevelt had to face. But in recent years, the crises have more often been unpredictable, though just as serious. Early in George W. Bush's first year, a US Navy surveillance aircraft collided with a Chinese PLA Navy jet in international waters. In early 1993, President Clinton was faced with a crisis in Russia, as Yeltsin all but abolished the Congress of People's Deputies as he tried to force Russia to reform its constitution. In 1989, new President GHW Bush had to deal with the challenge of Noriega's attempt to deny US access to the Panama Canal as reprisal for interfering with his drug trafficking. In 1981, new President Reagan had to deal with a militant and ambitious Iran. Every new president tends to find surprise problems waiting for his attention early on, serious problems which were not always apparent before his election to office. Because many of these crises come from areas where the new president is not expert, he very often must rely on the experience of appointed heads of departments and offices, and so the decision in those appointments may prove pivotal in the success of the crisis resolution.

The quality of President Obama's early appointments may therefore be far more significant than they may first appear.


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Comments (23)

Would you consider linking ... (Below threshold)

Would you consider linking to my blog? We have similar interests.

The New Republican at http://newrepublican.wordpress.com/


John Kerry and Jaime Goreli... (Below threshold)

John Kerry and Jaime Gorelick are not 2 names that inspire any confidence in the judgment of Pres-elect Obama. What a nightmare those 2 people would be.

NeoLibs is all he will have... (Below threshold)

NeoLibs is all he will have. They have an agenda of appeasment and isolationism. ww

His first crisis?T... (Below threshold)

His first crisis?

That's a tough one, since it's going to be a race between the Russians and the various hardline Islamists.

Maybe he'll get lucky and they'll both happen at once.

Already his first crisis is... (Below threshold)

Already his first crisis is what kind of dog to get. He still hasn't made up his mind. Cheesh. What will he do in a real crisis? ww

I think his first immediate... (Below threshold)
retired miilitary:

I think his first immediate crisis is going to be the aftermath of Israel attacking Iran prior to the inaugaration.

Clinton got a triple-whammy... (Below threshold)

Clinton got a triple-whammy on top of Russia: the first bombing of the WTC on February 26, 1993. The Battle of Mogadishu from October 3-4, 1993 (aka: the"Black Hawk Down" incident). The latter being one of Clinton's bigger foreign policy/military blunders that lead signifcant FP "hands-off" approach to matters that weren't of national security interest--like the genocide in Rwanda.

My cousin is an AF pilot se... (Below threshold)

My cousin is an AF pilot serving in asia. He told me that the Chinese pilot's name was Wong Wei.

I think his first immedi... (Below threshold)

I think his first immediate crisis is going to be the aftermath of Israel attacking Iran prior to the inaugaration.

I wouldn't be surprised if, during his ME trip in August that included a trip to Israel, Obama, perhaps at the request of the State Dept., discouraged the Israelis from commencing such an attack should he win the election. Whether he was persuasive and assuaged Israeli fears over US-support if they decided to commence such an operation remains to be seen.

Four things are going to ha... (Below threshold)

Four things are going to happen in Obama's first two years, I believe...in any order:
- Russia tries to seize Ukraine...or at least Sevastapol
- China invades Taiwan
- Israel-Iran dust-up (or all out war!)
- WE get hit HARD here at home!

I think whichever one comes first the other three may be started oppportunistically to take advantage of us being distracted and Obama having ZERO Executive skills.

The Captain has illiminated the Seatbelt sign...please return to your seat, strap in, and assume crash positions!

Interesting approach, Justr... (Below threshold)

Interesting approach, Justrand. I'll take a quick crack at the top 5 "challenges" Obama might face:

1.) Russia tries to seize Ukraine
2.) Iran fires on US air patrols hear the Iraqi border, claiming we've crossed over. (Just recently, Iran yelped about the US violating its air space; I imagine this public yapping is their way of "warning" us. They'll wish they hadn't.)
3.) Iran attempts to provoke a response by skirting a little too close to US warships in the Strait of Hormuz. (Again, they've already been doing this, but they could become more brazen, forcing us to fire.)
4.) Attacks in Baghdad increase from Moqtada al Sadr's militia in an attempt to gain greater prominence in the IP. (I bet Gen. Petraeus expects this one, too.)
5.) Hezbollah provokes another war with Israel; this time, Israel gives a big finger to the UN and flattens Beirut.

I don't agree about China invading Taiwain--that would be insanity. I'm less worried that we'll see another attack on our home soil. I think once Obama takes office and learns that some of those programs his party railed against (like wiretapping of terrorist suspects) aren't un-Constitutional, and that some restored Presidential powers that were imperceptibly stripped away by Congress over the years, are all pretty handy in thwarting attacks.

Husseins biggest crisis is ... (Below threshold)

Husseins biggest crisis is that damned, inconvenient US Constitution. He made it clear in 2001 that it interfered with Big Brother doing whatever it wished to--er, that is FOR--the American people. Friggin thing just provides too many rights. And the lousy Warren court blew its chance to change that! Naturally McCain didn't think it important to bring this minor point to the attention of the public. So it'll be interesting to see whether Hussein scraps the Constitution, or just ignores it in his eagerness to provide for the greater good.

Peter F...in honor the Mari... (Below threshold)

Peter F...in honor the Marine Corps birthday (Semper Fi!!). This story may or may not have actually happened recently...but it sounds like how a Marine would respond. Enjoy!

Iranian Air Defense Radar: "Unknown aircraft at (location unknown), you are in Iranian airspace. Identify yourself."

Aircraft: "This a United States aircraft. I am in Iraqi airspace."

Iranian Air Defense Radar: "You are in Iranian airspace. If you do not depart our airspace we will launch interceptor aircraft!"

Aircraft: "This is a United States Marine fighter. Send 'em up!"

Iranian Air Defense Radar: (no response ... total silence)

Ref #12. Hey, so far he has... (Below threshold)

Ref #12. Hey, so far he hasn't called it a "G*dd*mn piece of paper" like Bush did. Nobody knows what he is going to do, but it sure makes a person laugh about some of the comments.

Justrand,Here's th... (Below threshold)


Here's the only known photo of that Iranian "intercepter aircraft."

Allen, he, among others is ... (Below threshold)

Allen, he, among others is trying too destroy that piece of paper. And no, we won't let 'em.

Hey, I'm not worried. Joe ... (Below threshold)

Hey, I'm not worried. Joe Biden told me that whatever it is, Obama is going to make what will appear to be an unpopular decision, but not to worry, I should blindly support him in that decision and all will be well.

What? You don't believe him?

Will we ever get our countr... (Below threshold)

Will we ever get our country back?

Yes.... (Below threshold)


Ref#16. I'M not arguing on ... (Below threshold)

Ref#16. I'M not arguing on what you are saying, but please put some real creditable links to that, not some other blog, or somebody said something. Put the real truth out their with your links.

Until then, I'll believe it when I see it. Just like everyone who knows what he thinks and is going to do. Pure BS, and everyone knows it, but it sure sounds good to some people.

If the first crisis involve... (Below threshold)

If the first crisis involves Iran, I feel heartened by the fact that President Barack Hussein Obama will actually talk with that country's leaders rather than covering his ears, shutting his eyes and screaming 'LA LA LA!'

If the first crisis invo... (Below threshold)

If the first crisis involves Iran, I feel heartened by the fact that President Barack Hussein Obama will actually talk with that country's leaders rather than covering his ears, shutting his eyes and screaming 'LA LA LA!'

I guess you missed the multiple times the U.S. asked "Hey Taliban, you can keep your shitty, godforsaken high desert hellhole, just give us bin Laden" and the times we said, "Hey, you with the Stalin-esque moustache. Yeah you, you've got a lot of weapons you say you have but are still unaccounted for. And you've fired on our planes for 12 years running. For the 17th time, show us where they are or proof that you destroyed them and you can stay in power. No? Oh, you still want to play games? Well, we're done playing games, asshat. Say good-bye to your dictatorship and hello to Mr. Noose."

Obama will talk, just like Bush, Clinton and everyone before him. Whether anybody listens or respects what's behind Obama's talk, is another matter. But hopefully we never have to see.

In the end, $20 says he acts more like Bush when push comes to shove than you'd ever be comfortable with.

DJ! PLEASE watch these vid... (Below threshold)

DJ! PLEASE watch these videos asap and pass them around: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f5rm7pxKyEM&NR=1 fema locations: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBeLtkiQUfs






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