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Obama: The Reluctant Realist

Mideast Security and Policy Studies No. 113

Many have asserted that Barack Obama’s foreign policy lacks direction.
He is seen as constantly improvising without any ideological or
intellectual compass to guide him. I argue that this is not the case and
that, in fact, Obama’s foreign policy can be explained as adhering very
closely to traditional realist theory. After explaining what I mean by
realism, I show how Obama’s rhetoric displays a strong realist core. I
then demonstrate how Obama’s key foreign policy decisions, including
the pivot to Asia, the handling of Iran’s nuclear program, the reaction to
Russian intervention in Ukraine, and the response to the “Arab …read more

Source: Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies

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