Download e-book for kindle: Bending History: Barack Obama's Foreign Policy by Martin S. Indyk, Kenneth G. Lieberthal, Michael E. O'Hanlon

By Martin S. Indyk, Kenneth G. Lieberthal, Michael E. O'Hanlon

ISBN-10: 0815721838

ISBN-13: 9780815721833

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 fiscal problems have ruled the 1st years of his presidency. yet his higher good fortune or failure will most likely hinge as a lot on international coverage. In Bending History, a trio of well known international 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 residence predecessors.

Conflicting caricatures of Obama omit the mark. the correct mostly believes he's a naive apologist attempting to quash "American exceptionalism," or at most sensible making an attempt too not easy to satisfy the calls for of his Democratic get together. 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. now not unusually, Obama is considerably extra advanced and nuanced than any of those pictures allows.

Bending History argues that Obama so far has, principally, been a international coverage pragmatist, tackling one factor at a time in a considerate manner. On stability he has been powerfuble and stable, settling on average regulations (or least-worst concepts, a minimum of) with an strategy typified by way of thoroughness, quite sturdy teamwork, and suppleness whilst needed.

The professional authors objective to give the 1st severe book-length appraisal of Obama's international coverage. they're Martin Indyk, a diplomat with nice adventure within the risky zone that has obvious virtually unbelievable political switch in 2011 (the heart East); Kenneth Lieberthal, an oft-quoted authority at the historical upward thrust and political economic climate of China; and Michael O'Hanlon, an complete analyst of nationwide safety coverage, really 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 best degrees of the management. They locate little strategic coherence in a international coverage that's awesome regularly for its person projects instead of unifying subject matters, regardless of what the personality of Barack Obama himself represents symbolically and rhetorically.

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S. 50 Failure to do so would have been particularly egregious. China would have spurned a key meeting on the global nuclear proliferation issue because of pique over purely bilateral issues, thereby spotlighting Beijing’s narrowly nationalist approach to the responsibilities of a major global power. This choice would have been especially apparent because Hu Jintao had already agreed to travel to Latin America directly after the April nuclear summit. Hu’s participation in the nuclear summit marked a limited turnaround in China’s policies toward the United States, with some muting of the drumbeat of criticism over the Taiwan arms sale announcement and the Dalai Lama’s visit.

Obama’s interest in presenting to the world a team of experienced people—but not depending on them for designing overall strategy—also manifested itself in his appointment of two highfliers as special envoys for Afghanistan-Pakistan and Middle East peace. Richard Holbrooke had successfully negotiated the Dayton Accords that ended the war in Bosnia; George Mitchell had successfully negotiated the Belfast Agreement that ended the conflict in Northern Ireland. Both were well suited to deal with the most complicated diplomatic challenges on Obama’s agenda.

As noted above, the global economic crisis affected both China’s relative position in the world and its national psychology. S. actions—in a more robust way. S. initiatives in early 2010 fed the narrative in China that America was on the decline but determined to take forceful action to demonstrate its ongoing strength and to weaken China by stirring up domestic tensions there. indd 40 2/13/12 3:09 PM E M ER GING P O WER: CH INA Obama announced for April or to set a date for his own summit visit to the United States in 2010 (which had been agreed to in principle during the November Beijing summit).

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Bending History: Barack Obama's Foreign Policy by Martin S. Indyk, Kenneth G. Lieberthal, Michael E. O'Hanlon


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