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Obama's Foreign Policy Spells America's Decline

The BriefGet Up To Speed

What might Machiavelli have made of the 44th President of the United States? Barack Obama set out to change the tone of US foreign policy. And he did. By virtue of his personal story, by dint of his not being George W. Bush, he arrived in the White House as both object of fascination and source of relief to a world grown accustomed to resenting the US itself. Here is a president who acknowledges that we hold no monopoly on the legitimacy of our interests, who aspires to finding the common ground in resolving disagreements with friend and foe. His caution, his deliberativeness, his stated willingness to at least try to negotiate even with our bitterest enemies and to cool down the rhetoric '€“ played so well out of the gate, that they gave him the Nobel Peace Prize '€“ after just 262 days in office. But is love enough to lead? Or might the president need some wins along the way? For the most part, they'€™ve been hard to come by. None yet in Iraq and Afghanistan. And Iran'€™s mullah'€™s don'€™t seem to feel an urgent need to end the nuclear standoff. Seeking a new balance in America'€™s dealings in the Middle East, Obama asked Israel to stop building settlements, but the building goes on. And the Chinese seem to understand his less than aggressive stance in pressing for human rights as a green light to change nothing. Even when the stakes were less than life and death '€“ his bid to bring the Olympics to Chicago '€“ he was denied. Not that any of this is easy. And it may be that some of these more serious challenges would by now be more difficult still if Obama had not set a new tone. But might the opposite be true? Might our adversaries see the president'€™s coolness as uncertainty and his deliberativeness as weakness? Can they exploit his affinity for common ground, by pushing to gain more ground for themselves? By acknowledging that all sides can have legitimate interests, as well as legitimate grievances, is the president yielding the high ground? Most importantly, are we safer now that we are living in the era of president number 44? It comes down to being respected, which is not the same as being liked. Americans have always aspired to have it both ways. Machiavelli would have us choose.

For the Motion
Saturday, May 1, 2010
Henry R. Nay
Friday, April 2, 2010
Charles Krauthammer
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Robert Kagan
Monday, February 1, 2010
Robert Kagan
Monday, January 11, 2010
Eliot A. Cohen
Sunday, January 10, 2010
John Yoo
Monday, January 4, 2010
Robert J. Lieber
Thursday, December 31, 2009
Fouad Ajami
Monday, October 19, 2009
Charles Krauthammer
Sunday, August 2, 2009
Eliot Cohen
Against the Motion
Friday, April 16, 2010
David Shorr
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Jacob Heilbrunn
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Jacob Heilbrunn
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Nina Hachigian
Friday, January 1, 2010
Michael O’Hanlon
Monday, February 1, 2016
Zbigniew Brzezinski
Monday, February 1, 2010
Jessica Tuchman Mathews
Obama's Policy is Evolving
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Timothy Garton Ash
Sunday, February 28, 2010
Carol Graham and Martin Indyk
Friday, April 1, 2016
Richard Burt
Monday, January 18, 2010
Warren P. Strobel
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
David Gauvey Herbert
Sunday, January 10, 2010
Helene Cooper
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Michael Crowley
Monday, November 2, 2009
Foreign Policy
Obama's Foreign Policy
Wednesday, December 31, 1969
Thursday, December 10, 2009
President Barack Obama
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Joe Klein
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Hilary Rodham Clinton
Obama's Leadership Style
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Edward Luce and Daniel Dombey
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Daniel W. Drezner
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Peter Baker
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Foreign Policy
Monday, February 1, 2010
Walter Russell Mead
Foreign Policy in the Middle East
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Martin S. Indyk and Kenneth M. Pollack
Wednesday, December 31, 1969
Christiane Amanpour
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Moderator: Bob Schieffer; Panelists: Steve Coll
Foreign Policy in Iran
Friday, February 19, 2010
David E. Sanger and Thom Shanker
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Danielle Pletka
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Bruce Riedel and Michael E. O’Hanlon
Monday, March 1, 2010
James M. Lindsay and Ray Takeyh
Monday, February 22, 2010
Bill Emmot
Thursday, February 11, 2010
John R. Bolton
Tuesday, March 1, 2016
Patrick Clawson
Foreign Policy in Israel
Wednesday, December 31, 1969
Aaron David Miller
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Robert McFarlane
Monday, April 19, 2010
Brookings Institution
Friday, April 16, 2010
Bret Stephens
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Elliott Abrams
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Interviewed by Deborah Jerome
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Fred Kaplan
Monday, October 12, 2009
Elliott Abrams
Miscalculations in U.S. Afghan Offensive
Friday, April 9, 2010
Interview by Greg Bruno
Monday, March 29, 2010
Joshua Partlow and Scott Wilson
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Thomas H. Johnson and M. Chris Mason
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Interview by Greg Bruno
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Peter Bergen and Katherine Tiedemann
Foreign Policy in Pakistan
Sunday, April 4, 2010
Jane Perlez and Pir Zubair Shah
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Michael Hirsh
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Syed Saleem Shahzad
Foreign Policy in Iraq
Monday, February 1, 2010
Thomas E. Ricks
Nuclear Strategy
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Wall Street Journal
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Stephen M. Walt
Saturday, March 27, 2010
Fred Kaplan
Friday, March 26, 2010
Tom Raum and Robert Burns
Foreign Policy in Russia
Foreign Policy in Asia
Monday, November 30, 2009
Ross Terrill
Foreign Policy in China
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Robert D. Kaplan
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Edward Wong
Monday, March 8, 2010
Andrew Batson
Friday, February 5, 2010
Monday, June 1, 2009
Elizabeth C. Economy and Adam Segal
Foreign Policy in India
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Andrew Jim Hoagland
Monday, March 8, 2010
Bruce Stokes
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Richard Fontaine
Foreign Policy in North Korea
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Andrew Dan Blumenthal
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Zachary Karabell
Monday, January 4, 2010
Tony Karon
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Anne Applebaum
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Kori Schake