President Obama's foreign policy of incremental realism is more complex than most commentators realize. It is not simply about maximizing military power to provide security and protect the nation’s interests. Nor is it mainly about relying on diplomacy and international organizations. The Obama version of realism takes a case-by-case approach combining soft and hard power to protect and project American interests while seeking stability within the wider framework of the overall international system. There is no conflict between a willingness to negotiate and a readiness to use force when there is no acceptable alternative.