During his first term, President Obama set about to extricate the United States from the wars he inherited from George W. Bush. Not surprisingly, getting out has proved to be harder than getting in. His second term’s agenda has been spent seizing opportunities while seeking to avoid making new messes for his own successor to clean up. Having negotiated a nuclear deal with Iran, Obama is now pushing hard on trade and climate agreements. He has tried his best to resist the undertow of Afghanistan and Iraq, and keep on the periphery of the hellhole that is Syria.
Obama’s stubborn “fidelity to international order” – the term he used in his address before the UN General Assembly – and commitment to progressive idealism in U.S. foreign and national security policy have not ebbed, despite the woes of the world. At the UN, Obama told the assembled dignitaries,
“Our nations are more secure when we uphold basic laws and basic norms, and pursue a path of cooperation over conflict. And strong nations, above all, have a responsibility to uphold this international order.’
To continue reading, click here.