“Events, dear boy, events.” (in regards to what dictates the broad policy of a given administration)
So, I read an article in the New Yorker and it quelled many of my fears that made up my previous post on this topic. For anyone looking for reassurance about Obama’s foreign policy, look elsewhere. For anyone looking for proof that he has one, this is a good place to start.
Nonetheless, Obama may be moving toward something resembling a doctrine. One of his advisers described the President’s actions in Libya as “leading from behind.” That’s not a slogan designed for signs at the 2012 Democratic Convention, but it does accurately describe the balance that Obama now seems to be finding. It’s a different definition of leadership than America is known for, and it comes from two unspoken beliefs: that the relative power of the U.S. is declining, as rivals like China rise, and that the U.S. is reviled in many parts of the world. Pursuing our interests and spreading our ideals thus requires stealth and modesty as well as military strength. “It’s so at odds with the John Wayne expectation for what America is in the world,” the adviser said. “But it’s necessary for shepherding us through this phase.”
leading from behind,