[Paul Starobin, Obama's Weakened Position: What Does It Mean For U.S. Foreign Policy?, http://security.nationaljournal.com/2010/02/obamas-weakened-position-what.php]
President Obama is in a rough political patch with the apparent demise of his top domestic priority, universal health care; with the loss of a 60-vote Democratic supermajority in the Senate; with improved Republican prospects for the midterm elections in November; and with his once sky-high approval rating now below 50 percent. So, what does his weakened position mean for his handling of foreign affairs and for the tack that allies, rivals and outright enemies take toward the U.S.? With his focus on "jobs, jobs, jobs," Obama devoted a grand total of nine minutes to national security issues in his State of the Union address. Does this suggest less activism on the foreign policy front? If so, Obama would be going against the historical pattern, which suggests that a president weakened on the domestic front is likely to become more energetic in foreign affairs as the realm that is less subject to congressional and political control at home (Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon are examples). In any case, what is the best course for Obama at this juncture? Should he try to improve his standing at home with a prestige-enhancing triumph abroad?Are there such opportunities out there -- for example, a bold deal with the Russians on nuclear disarmament, a tough package of sanctions against Iran, a breakthrough on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? Are the Russians, the Chinese, the Pakistanis, the Iranians, the Indians, the Japanese, the Europeans, likelier to be tougher or more accommodating with Obama facing troubles at home? (Or to put it another way: Do any of them want to see Obama fail?) Is a weakened Obama in danger of being seen as another Jimmy Carter -- that is, as an ineffectual president not likely to serve another term? (The analyst Les Gelb of the Council on Foreign Relations is already likening Obama to Carter.) Is his damaged domestic position likely to matter in any way to Al Qaeda and other anti-U.S. Islamic militant groups? Any and all speculations on this theme are welcome.
T: Military Presence
US military presence and NATO TNWS are separate presences
Lamond 9 (Claudine, Senior analyst and contributor to International Security Report, “Tactical Nuclear Weapons in Russian Foreign Policy,” International Security Report, http://www.atlantic-community.org/app/webroot/files/articlepdf/140809_ISR%20-%20Russian%20TNW%20C%20Lamond.pdf) MJ
Recent years have signaled a low point in Russia‐US relations. NATO’s eastward expansion, the continued presence of NATO’s TNW in Europe, US military and oil presence in central Asia, and the Bush administration’s plans for new missile defense systems on Russia’s border have been seen as direct attacks on Russian influence and her ability to protect herself. In a recent speech in Helsinki, Russian President Dimitri Medvedev said: “The rules of international law are applied selectively, on the basis of so‐called political expediency, and sometimes simply ignored. In our view, there are quite a few examples of this in contemporary Europe: the military operation in the Balkans, the recognition of Kosovo, the Caucasus crisis resulting from the attack on South Ossetia last year, and the crisis in talks on the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe. These examples could be multiplied indefinitely.”12 Former President Gorbachev also complains that US behaviour since the end of the Cold War (that he played such a central role in facilitating) stymied any progress over 20 years and still has the potential to threaten a new arms race.13
Taylor Et Al 05 (Bryan C, University of Colorado at Boulder, WILLIAM J. KINSELLA North Carolina State University, STEPHEN P. DEPOE MARIBETH S. METZLER University of Cincinnati, “Nuclear Legacies: Communication, Controversy, and the U.S. Nuclear Weapons Production Complex.”, Communication Yearbook 29, http://comm.colorado.edu/~taylorbc/Nuclear%20Legacies%20CY29.pdf) BAF
First, further research is warranted regarding the rhetorical practices by which stakeholders are hailed (both by officials and each other) to participate in policy making (Boiko et al., 1996) and are subsequently enabled and constrained. Crucial here are institutional dynamics that function pragmatically to shape the terms of discussion, the scope of actors’ involvement, the legitimacy of particular speakers and speech acts, the rate, sequence, and duration of decision making, and the ways in which technical and nontechnical discourses are articulated (Fiorino, 1996; Kinsella, 2001, 2002, 2004; Laird, 1993; Mehta, 1998). Research with this focus would engage the micropractices of participants: How do officials manage public meetings and respond to hostile questions (Campbell, Follender, & Shane, 1998; McComas, 2001, 2003a, 2003b)? How appropriately do facilitators summarize the discourse of focus groups? How do opponents succumb to or resist capture and the subversion of their Nuclear Legacies 383 alternate values by expert nuclear discourses (Cohn, 1987)?10 This focus recovers nuclear democracy as a local, communicative accomplishment, whose forms and practices may vary widely from one scene to another, based on the structures and cultures of particular decision-making and advisory groups (Bradbury & Branch, 1999; Weeks, 2000). A related issue concerns the integrity of communicative practices suppressed in vernacular criteria used by officials to manage, and by researchers to assess, public participation programs. Stakeholders, for example, commonly perceive particular attributes as necessary for successful programs (e.g., the decision-making process allows full and active stakeholder participation; Carnes, Schweitzer, Peelle, Wolfe, & Munro, 1998; Hanford Advisory Board, 2002). They often lack, however, sufficient resources for understanding how actual (as opposed to hypothetical or idealized) communication accomplishes these outcomes. This focus recovers the practices that saturate nuclear decision making in local, concrete situations (Mehta, 1998) and enables the development of associated practical theory (Cronen, 1995). Potentially, this research clarifies how affected groups may successfully self-organize to emerge as effective counterpublics, developing and using multipronged, multimodal opposition to engage the complexities of nuclear weapons production and its persistent culture of secrecy. At sites such as Fernald and Hanford, for example (Metzler, 1997; Ratliff, 1998), liminal actors such as whistleblowers, independent scientists, and downwinders (Kinsella, 2001) have effectively challenged the DOE by deploying alternative discourses and forms of knowledge.