August 26, 2014

Barack Obama Is Not a Realist

Paul Saunders, The National Interest

The Associated Press

The principal reason that Obama’s critics and defenders considered him a realist for so long has been his administration’s generally pragmatic policies. But realism is much more than pragmatism; confusing the two is one of the most fundamental and enduring errors in America’s foreign-policy debates. Realism is pragmatism rooted in awareness of international anarchy, infused with a deep understanding of American power and in service of a strategy based on American national interests. Obama is not a realist because his policies typically start and stop with the pragmatic and even the opportunistic.

Read Full Article ››

TAGGED: Realism, Barack Obama

RECOMMENDED ARTICLES

August 20, 2014
Is Barack Obama a Coldhearted Realist?
Stephen Walt, Foreign Policy
This president isn't weak and waffling. He's calculating, coldhearted, and decisive when it counts. more ››
August 13, 2014
Are Iran and the U.S. Partners Now?
Walter Russell Mead, Am. Interest
America and Iran both want Maliki out of power in Iraq. Does that make them strategic partners in the Middle East? more ››
August 13, 2014
Make No Mistake: We're Back in an Iraq War
Doyle McManus, LA Times
Every time Barack Obama thinks he has succeeded in establishing restraint as the central doctrine of his foreign policy, a new outburst of chaos in the Middle East draws him back in. In 2011, fears that Libya's Moammar Kadafi... more ››
August 13, 2014
Digging Out of This Stupid Sh*t Foreign Policy
Leslie Gelb, The Daily Beast
The usually uninformed American citizens can be forgiven for being mystified by the Mideast policy prescriptions of their leaders. President Barack Obama promises to stop genocide in Iraq and not to do “stupid shit,”... more ››
August 14, 2014
Obama's Foreign Policy Record: TBD
Robert Kaplan, Stratfor
This is all intrinsically connected with optics: America's reputation for power as perceived by its friends and enemies. To wit, the Israelis might not have liked Kissinger or Baker, but they feared them. They neither like nor... more ››