By Martin S. Indyk, Kenneth G. Lieberthal, Michael E. O'Hanlon
How good has Barack Obama performed 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 financial problems have ruled the 1st years of his presidency. yet his greater good fortune or failure will most probably hinge as a lot on international coverage. In Bending History, a trio of popular international coverage specialists illuminates the grand promise and the good contradictions of a brand new president who has captured the eye and mind's eye of voters worldwide like few of his White condominium predecessors.
Conflicting caricatures of Obama pass over the mark. the fitting mostly believes he's a naive apologist attempting to quash "American exceptionalism," or at top making an attempt too challenging to satisfy the calls for of his Democratic social gathering. Conversely, whereas many at the Left nonetheless see him as a transformational political determine, the good 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. no longer unusually, Obama is considerably extra complex and nuanced than any of those photographs allows.
Bending History argues that Obama to this point has, exceptionally, been a overseas coverage pragmatist, tackling one factor at a time in a considerate approach. On stability he has been efficient and good, determining moderate rules (or least-worst thoughts, at the very least) with an technique typified by means of thoroughness, kind of solid teamwork, and adaptability while needed.
The pro authors target to offer the 1st critical book-length appraisal of Obama's international coverage. they're Martin Indyk, a diplomat with nice adventure within the unstable quarter that has obvious nearly unbelievable political swap 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 finished analyst of nationwide protection coverage, fairly 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 overseas coverage that's striking commonly for its person projects instead of unifying issues, regardless of what the personality of Barack Obama himself represents symbolically and rhetorically.
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Extra info for Bending History: Barack Obama's Foreign Policy
A major problem was the Bush administration’s mixed legacy. indd 36 2/13/12 3:09 PM E M ER GING P O WER: CH INA willing to engage with North Korea only after North Korea had tested a nuclear weapon. S. position forward. 33 These lessons put North Korea squarely on a different path from the one the Obama administration pursued upon assuming office. 34 The missile test succeeded in its first two stages and failed in its third—but it put North Korea closer to a capacity to strike the United States than it had ever been before.
71 But two key incidents especially raised the temperature in Tokyo. First, in both March and early April 2010, China sent flotillas through the Miyako Strait. 72 And then in September 2010, an apparently drunk captain of a Chinese fishing vessel rammed Japanese boats sent to chase him out of waters claimed by Japan. When Japanese authorities brought the crew to shore and held the captain for trial, Beijing reacted with fury, eventually reportedly cutting off its exports of rare earth metals to Japan.
Indd 36 2/13/12 3:09 PM E M ER GING P O WER: CH INA willing to engage with North Korea only after North Korea had tested a nuclear weapon. S. position forward. 33 These lessons put North Korea squarely on a different path from the one the Obama administration pursued upon assuming office. 34 The missile test succeeded in its first two stages and failed in its third—but it put North Korea closer to a capacity to strike the United States than it had ever been before. 35 The two developments together were a game changer in the Obama administration’s approach to the North Korean nuclear issue.