In a profile of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Time magazine's Joe Klein - a Democrat-supporter - tries hard to be positve but cannot help but voice worries about the direction of Barack Obama's foreign policy:
"There is a growing perception that the Administration's policies have been thwarted across the board: Afghanistan is a mess, Iran seems ready to scuttle the nuclear negotiations, there's no progress in the Middle East, the Syrians and North Koreans remain recalcitrant, the Russians have been offered a freebie on missile defense, and the Chinese have been given a pass on human rights with no apparent quid pro quos...
There is also a growing sense that the President's inexperience is beginning to show — not in his overall policy, which represents the views of a broad, moderate national-security consensus ranging from Brent Scowcroft to John Kerry, but in his execution of the details. The Afghan strategy review has been too public and taken too long; the Middle East peace hunt has become a wild goose chase. A letter to Iran's Supreme Leader is a productive gesture only if it gets a response; if it doesn't, it seems weak and supplicatory. A call for the Israelis to freeze settlements is effective only if it is accompanied by the credible threat of a reduction in aid. "You can't be seen pushing countries around — demanding [that] Israel freeze settlements, demanding that Hamid Karzai reform his government — and not get results," says Leslie H. Gelb, author of Power Rules. "The leaders of these countries are tough, successful politicians, and they'll begin to take you less seriously."
Klein does, however, argue that Obama possesses "the wisdom to have refrained from doing anything so wildly stupid as invading Iraq".
Read the full piece.