By Martin S. Indyk, Kenneth G. Lieberthal, Michael E. O'Hanlon
How good has Barack Obama conducted his tasks as U.S. commander-in-chief, most sensible diplomat, and grand strategist? He has been not able to alter the weather of Washington, and monetary problems have ruled the 1st years of his presidency. yet his higher good fortune or failure will most probably hinge as a lot on international coverage. In Bending History, a trio of popular overseas coverage specialists illuminates the grand promise and the nice contradictions of a brand new president who has captured the eye and mind's eye of electorate worldwide like few of his White apartment predecessors.
Conflicting caricatures of Obama pass over the mark. the ideal mostly believes he's a naive apologist attempting to quash "American exceptionalism," or at most sensible making an attempt too demanding to fulfill the calls for of his Democratic social gathering. Conversely, whereas many at the Left nonetheless see him as a transformational political determine, the nice antidote to George Bush's unilateralist militarism, others think he's an accommodationist who lacks the nerve to finish the excesses of Bush antiterror guidelines. now not unusually, Obama is considerably extra advanced and nuanced than any of those photographs allows.
Bending History argues that Obama to date has, peculiarly, been a overseas coverage pragmatist, tackling one factor at a time in a considerate means. On stability he has been useful and stable, determining average rules (or least-worst thoughts, at the very least) with an procedure typified through thoroughness, quite sturdy teamwork, and adaptability whilst needed.
The professional authors target to give the 1st critical book-length appraisal of Obama's international coverage. they're Martin Indyk, a diplomat with nice event within the risky area that has obvious nearly incredible political switch in 2011 (the heart East); Kenneth Lieberthal, an oft-quoted authority at the ancient upward thrust and political economic system of China; and Michael O'Hanlon, an complete analyst of nationwide protection coverage, quite the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. With equity and class, the authors combination their very own services with entry to significant army and diplomatic avid gamers at most sensible degrees of the management. They locate little strategic coherence in a international coverage that's amazing in most cases for its person tasks instead of unifying issues, regardless of what the character of Barack Obama himself represents symbolically and rhetorically.
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Extra resources for Bending History: Barack Obama's Foreign Policy
China cooperation on global issues during this first year. Managing the Financial Crisis The financial crisis underpinned a decisive shift from the G-7 to the G-20 in addressing global financial and economic issues. 19 It also reflected the changing global distribution of economic power, as the countries of the G-7 no longer dominated the world’s economy. The Obama administration fully embraced the G-20 as part of its approach to managing the global financial crisis. G-20 summits, which normally occur annually, were held in London and Pittsburgh in 2009, in Toronto and Seoul in 2010, and in Cannes in 2011.
G-20 summits, which normally occur annually, were held in London and Pittsburgh in 2009, in Toronto and Seoul in 2010, and in Cannes in 2011. The Obama administration worked assiduously with the Chinese in 2009 to have the G-20 support strong national stimulus programs as a necessary tool for dealing with the financial crisis. 22 At the 2011 G-20 summit, the European debt crisis became a major focus. President Obama made a state visit to Beijing in November 2009 to consolidate the gains made to date and lay a strong basis for future cooperation.
However, as Obama entered his fourth year, his necessary preoccupation with reelection left Clinton with greater room to take the lead in foreign affairs, staking out a stronger position than Obama had expressed on democratic transitions in the Arab world and nurturing the effort to counter China in Asia. With strong and experienced personalities at the helm at the Pentagon and State Department and a vice president with deep experience in foreign policy, Obama felt he needed a particular type of person to head up his National Security Council.