New Book: The Obama Doctrine

Grand Strategy Today

by Colin Dueck

"[Dueck] has written what is likely to
emerge as one of the principal critiques of President Obama's record on foreign
policy . . . [he] makes a clear, systematic case for posture of 'conservative
American realism'." - Times
Literary Supplement

With the Obama presidency now finished, the
true shape of the “Obama Doctrine” is being revealed. It has been consistently
cautious, but recent events in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and the Far
East have led an increasingly large number of foreign policy experts to
conclude that caution has transformed into weakness.

Published: 14 September 2017
336 Pages
ISBN: 9780190659943

In The Obama Doctrine, Colin Dueck analyses and explains what the Obama Doctrine in foreign policy actually is, and maps out the competing visions on offer from the Republican Party. Dueck, a leading scholar of US foreign policy, contends it is now becoming clear that Obama's policy of international retrenchment is in large part a function of his emphasis on achieving domestic policy goals. There have been some successes in the approach, but there have also been costs. For instance, much of the world no longer trusts the US to exert its will in international politics, and America's adversaries overseas have asserted themselves with increasing frequency.

The Republican Party will target these
perceived weaknesses in the 2016 presidential campaign and develop competing
counter-doctrines in the process. Dueck explains that within the Republican
Party, there are two basic impulses vying with each other: neo-isolationism and
forceful internationalism. After dissecting the various strands within these
impulses, he articulates an agenda of forward-leaning American realism—that is,
a policy in which the US engages with the world and is willing to use threats
of force for realistic ends. 

The Obama Doctrine not only provides a sharp appraisal of foreign
policy in the Obama era; it lays out an alternative approach to marshalling
American power.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

is an Associate Professor in George Mason University’s School
of Policy, Government, and International Affairs. He studied politics at
Princeton University, and international relations at Oxford under a Rhodes
scholarship. He has published two books on American foreign and national
security policies, Hard Line: The
Republican Party and U.S. Foreign Policy since World War II
, and Reluctant Crusaders: Power, Culture, and
Change in American Grand Strategy


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