The Future History of Obama’s Foreign Policy

In the coming decades, will the outgoing president’s foreign policy ultimately be remembered as a success or will it be overshadowed by what some would call his inability to act?


This week’s episode of The E.R. takes an in-depth look at President Barack Obama’s foreign policy strategy — where his administration has succeeded and where it has failed over the past eight years. FP’s David Rothkopf, Kori Schake, and Yochi Dreazen, as well as Derek Chollet, former U.S. assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs, discuss his forthcoming book, The Long Game: How Obama Defied Washington and Redefined America’s Role in the World.

The panel gets into a spirited debate over the numerous victories and shortcomings in Obama’s foreign policy across the world. From the Asia Pacific to Latin America, Africa to Europe, did the United States considerably improve relationships with its allies in those regions over the past eight years or hinder them? And with the Middle East still in knots of violence, discord, starvation, and human rights abuses, can we confidently say that Obama’s policies in the Middle East have helped address these issues or made them worse?

What will define Obama’s foreign policy? Will it be the end of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? Will it be the “red line” in Syria, and the growth and expansion of the Islamic State and other extremist groups? Or will breakthroughs like the Iran deal and the re-establishment of diplomatic ties with Cuba be the defining foreign policy moments of Obama’s legacy?

Derek Chollet is counselor and senior advisor for security and defense policy at the German Marshall Fund. He is the author of the forthcoming book The Long Game: How Obama Defied Washington and Redefined America’s Role in the World, in bookstores June 28. Follow him on Twitter: @derekchollet.

Yochi Dreazen is the managing editor for news at FP and author of The Invisible Front. Follow him on Twitter: @yochidreazen.

Kori Schake is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, where she focuses on military history, and a former foreign-policy advisor to Sen. John McCain. Follow her on Twitter: @KoriSchake.

David Rothkopf is the CEO and editor of the FP Group. Follow him on Twitter: @djrothkopf.

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