LIVE State of the Union Address 2013: Drone Memo, The Kill List and America's Place in the World

Has President Obama become President George W Bush lite? Where is America going as a global power with a weak economic recovery and growing challenges to its leadership across the world?

These are the two main quesleitstions that President needs to address. First, he needs to give America and its allies to give us a clear explanation of how America will handle itself in its fight against terrorism worldwide.

Drone Memo and the Kill List

We've known for a long time that the U.S. drone program has been operating under the so-called "Kill List." Now the American people know that President Obama has been operating under a questionable protocol that suggests that there is little check and balance to his authority to give the go ahead to kill terrorist leaders, who may be American Citizens.

Will there be more accountability now that the secret is out? If so, how will the need for secrecy be "optimized" with the need for accountability in the words of John Brennan?

The End of Pax Americana?

Secondly, there are questions regarding how the U.S. will maintain its interests in the trouble spots in the world, including Syria, Iran, North Korea and Asia. The pressing question is how the U.S. will manage these political and security problems under its current limits.

In Syria, we see a end of the U.S. strategy of intervention for promoting democracy as we saw in Libya and elsewhere. How does Obama justify his decision to stay on the sidelines in this bloody conflict?

Iran faces tightening economic sanctions that have shown evident strains on Iranian leadership in their willingness to come to the negotiation tables. How does Obama see the Iranians' mood for seeking a diplomatic solution before their upcoming elections?

North Korea is ramping up its rhetoric on its nuclear weapons program and has been very belligerent by saying they will target their nuclear missiles at the U.S. How will Obama confront the North Korean nuclear program?

China is flexing its muscle and making Japan, the Philippines and others nervous with its growing naval power and territorial claims. How will Obama support America's allies, while not spoiling U.S.-China relations at the same time?

Countdown Plan

Obama will probably not say much on foreign policy, but I'm betting that he will address the drone problem and U.S. standing in the world in broad strokes. I hope to provide some insight on his concise wording.

These issues are what I'm looking for in the time before Obama makes his address. I will be exploring these questions in depth in my upcoming posts to break down where Obama has stood on the issues.

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Dillon Zhou

Dillon currently works as a Foreign Teacher at the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China in Chengdu. He graduated from International Relations Program at the University of Massachusetts Boston in 2012. He previously worked at the Cyber Conflict Studies Association in Vienna, VA as a research assistant. He has also worked at the US Embassy in Tirana, Albania and JFK Library's Declassification Unit. His primary areas of interests are in US-China Relations and US Cyber Security Policy. He is proficient in speaking and reading Mandarin Chinese.

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