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Published on: March 17, 2016
The Obama Doctrine: Responses

The American Interest asked regular contributors and members of the editorial board to offer their reactions to President Obama’s unusually candid remarks on foreign policy in Jeffrey Goldberg’s “The Obama Doctrine” (The Atlantic).

Good Points and Bad Points
Francis Fukuyama
Flaws aside, Obama is in touch with an American electorate that is very skeptical about the wisdom of heavy involvement in the Middle East.

Points of Convergence
Adam Garfinkle
We still may not know everything, but thanks to Jeffrey Goldberg, we know a whole lot more than we did a few days ago about how the President thinks.

A Close Reading
Michael Mandelbaum
If history is to continue to bend in the direction President Obama favors, it will need ongoing assistance from the United States.

Striking a Balance
Stephen D. Krasner
George W. Bush tried to do too much. Barack Obama has advocated doing too little.

Less Mr. Spock, More Captain Kirk
Ana Palacio
President Obama’s cool logic was often a poor fit for a hot, messy world.

The Dangers of Presidential Clarity
David J. Kramer
President Obama’s words will make the world a more dangerous place.

A Mixed Record in the Middle East
Itamar Rabinovich
President Obama laid out an ambitious vision for the U.S. in the Middle East. Time will tell whether his successes or failures will most define his legacy.

Dilemmas of Power
Peter Berger
A great power cannot retain credibility if it first speaks like Churchill then acts like Chamberlain.

Back to Normalcy
Hiro Aida
Obama’s America and Abe’s Japan: two countries trying to get “back to normalcy”—but from opposite directions.

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