Barack Obama's Post-American Foreign Policy: The Limits of Engagement

Overview

After one of the most controversial and divisive periods in the history of American foreign policy under President George W. Bush, the Obama administration was expected to make changes for the better in US relations with the wider world. Now, international problems confronting Obama appear more intractable, and there seems to be a marked continuity in policies between Obama and his predecessor.

Robert Singh argues that Obama's approach of 'strategic engagement' was appropriate ...

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Barack Obama's Post-American Foreign Policy: The Limits of Engagement

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Overview

After one of the most controversial and divisive periods in the history of American foreign policy under President George W. Bush, the Obama administration was expected to make changes for the better in US relations with the wider world. Now, international problems confronting Obama appear more intractable, and there seems to be a marked continuity in policies between Obama and his predecessor.

Robert Singh argues that Obama's approach of 'strategic engagement' was appropriate for a new era of constrained internationalism, but it has yielded modest results. Obama's search for the pragmatic middle has cost him political support at home and abroad, whilst failing to make decisive gains. Singh suggests by calibrating his foreign policies to the emergence of a 'post-American'world, the president has yet to preside over a renaissance of US global leadership. Ironically,Obama's policies have instead hastened the arrival of a post-American world.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781780930374
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
  • Publication date: 6/5/2012
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 1,471,527
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Singh is Professor of Politics at Birkbeck College, University of London, UK. His publications include American Government and Politics (2003), Contemporary American Politics: Issues and Controversies (2003), (as co-editor) The Bush Doctrine and the War on Terrorism (2006) and (as co-author) After Bush: The Case For Continuity in American Foreign Policy (2008).

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Table of Contents

List of Tables x

Preface and Acknowledgments xi

1 A Post-American Foreign Policy for the Post-American World 1

Introduction 2

Audacious No Longer: From the Fierce Urgency of Now to the Timidity of "Hope" 9

Contextualizing Obama 15

Plan of the Book 18

2 The "Human Ink-Blot": Obama, Foreign Policy and the 2008 Election 21

Introduction 21

"I've Got a Confusion on Obama": Cosmopolitan, Liberal Internationalist, Realist, Reaganite, Leftist? 25

The Stealth Candidate: Symbolism as Strategy (Hope) and Substance (Change) 28

Commander-in-Chief/Cosmopolitan-in-Chief 31

Conclusion 37

3 The Obama Doctrine: "Leading From Behind" 39

Introduction 39

Obama's Grand Strategy: Engagement 41

Implementing Strategic: Engagement (2009-12) 48

The Conservative Critique: Obama and the End of American Exceptionalism 56

Conclusion 63

4 Afghanistan, Pakistan and the War on Terror 66

Introduction 66

Un-Declaring the War on Terror 68

From the Team of Rivals to Rival Teams 73

Pakistan: Failing State of Terror 77

Conclusion: the Limits of Strategic Engagement in South Asia 86

5 Iran 89

Introduction 90

Extending a hand, Unclenching a Fist: Towards a "Grand Bargain" 91

The Iranian Presidential Election Crisis of 2009 93

From Engagement to Sanctions to Regime Change 95

Evaluating Obama's Iran Strategy 98

Iraq 105

Conclusion: the Limits of Strategic Engagement with Iran 107

6 Israel, Palestine and the Arab Spring 111

Introduction 111

Obama's Strategic Options 113

Israel and the Palestinian Territories 115

The Arab Spring: the Inevitable Surprise 123

Egypt 125

Libya 127

Syria 130

Conclusion: the Limits of Strategic Engagement in the Middle East 134

7 China 139

Introduction 140

US China Strategy for the 2010s: Peaceful Rise, Post-Ascent Aggression or Unpeaceful Collapse? 143

Obama and China: from Engagement to Hedging 148

Economic Relations 149

Chinese Military Developments: Enter the Dragon 154

Taiwan 157

Conclusion: the Limits of Strategic Engagement with China 159

8 Russia 162

Introduction 163

Resetting Russian-American Relations 166

Missile Defense, New Start, and Afghanistan 169

Missile Defense 169

New Start 172

Afghanistan, Central Asia and the "Post-Soviet Space" 175

Resetting the Reset? 176

Conclusion: the Limits of Strategic Engagement with Russia 180

9 Keep the Change: Continuity We can Believe in 184

Introduction 185

The Four Limits of Strategic Engagement 190

Conclusion 199

Notes 203

Bibliography 227

Index 243

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