Obama’s Foreign Policy: An Assessment After Year One — Introduction

A little over a year ago, I wrote an essay for this page that outlined some of the multitudinous foreign policy challenges that would face Barack Obama’s administration when it took office on 20 January 2009 (“Of Mice, Men, and Presidents,” December 2008).  During the past twelve months, the president and his national security team […]

What Obama Might Learn from the Past: Bending History in the Direction of Justice

It is the nature of the political process that presidents campaign outside history and must then live within it. For Barack Obama, this meant promising a speedy withdrawal from Iraq, a stronger focus on defeating Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, firm but respectful relations with Russia and China, engagement with opponents like Iran, and progress with our […]

In the Shadow of Failure: Obama’s Quest for Constructive Engagement

As Barack Obama completes his first year in office, he faces challenges that will test his considerable political skills to the very limit. While many voted for Obama because was able to project an image of calm competence that was notably lacking in both John McCain and George W. Bush, the Wall Street crisis and […]