How well has Barack Obama carried out his duties as U.S. commander-in-chief, top diplomat, and grand strategist? He has been unable to change the climate of Washington, and economic difficulties have dominated the first two years of his presidency. But his larger success or failure will likely hinge as much on foreign policy. In Bending History? a trio of renowned foreign policy experts illuminates the grand promise and the great contradictions of a new president who has captured the attention and imagination of citizens around the world like few of his White House predecessors. Conflicting caricatures of Obama miss the mark. The Right largely believes he is a na ve apologist trying to quash ""American exceptionalism,"" or at best trying too hard to meet the demands of his Democratic Party. Conversely, while many on the Left still see him as a transformational political figure, the great antidote to George Bush's unilateralist militarism, others believe he is an accommodationist who lacks the nerve to end the excesses of Bush antiterror policies.
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The Brookings Institution
February 24, 2012
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