The Obama Presidency: A Foreign Policy of Change?
Barack Obama ran for the presidency on a policy of change-change in domestic policy and change in foreign policy. During both the nomination and election campaigns, this focus on change was the overarching theme that he struck at virtually every stop on the campaign trail. In foreign policy, Candidate Obama's emphasis on change focused on an array of issues-ending the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars and bringing American troops home; "resetting" and "restarting" American relations with allies and other major powers throughout the world; engaging with adversaries to address a number of outstanding issues; and dealing with global economic and military issues, most notably nuclear proliferation. The larger aim of this "change" emphasis was to enable the United States to reengage with the world and to move away from the isolated position that America found itself after the seeming unilateralist policies of the Bush administration. In this chapter, we examine the foreign policy approach and policies of the Obama administration and assess how well it has achieved this change.
“The Obama Presidency: A Foreign Policy of Change?” In Steven Schier, ed. Transforming America: Barack Obama in the White House, (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2011), pp. 235- 266, reproduced by permission of Rowman & Littlefield.