Economic policy of the Barack Obama administration President Obama was first inaugurated in Januaryin the depths of the Great Recession and a severe financial crisis that began in His presidency continued the banking bailout and auto industry rescue begun by the George W.
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His election filled me with Obama foreign policy hope and trepidation: I admired his eloquence and visible intelligence, and I shared some of his foreign-policy instincts, but my early columns also expressed misgivings about his overly ambitious foreign-policy agenda.
And when it comes to foreign policy, I regret to say my verdict is not particularly favorable. Here one must begin by recalling the dire circumstances when Obama took office. The world economy was in the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, and the United States was teetering on the brink of a complete economic meltdown.
Unemployment was soaring, and millions of Americans were losing their homes to foreclosures.
What has happened since? Here at home, the U. Wall Street was at near-record levels even before the recent post-election surge. More than 20 million Americans who lacked health care coverage now have it for the momentand we have seen important progress on civil rights for gay Americans and some other minorities.
Moreover, Obama managed these important economic and social achievements in the face of extraordinary opposition from the Republican Party, which seemed more interested in thwarting Obama than in doing anything to help the American people. He fulfilled the George W.
Bin Laden was found and eliminated on his watch. Ending the spiteful and counterproductive ostracism of Cuba was equally overdue and will do more for the Cuban people than our lame-brained embargo ever did. In both foreign and domestic policy, therefore, this administration notched some genuine wins.
And throughout his presidency, Obama conducted himself with the same dignity, humor, grace, intelligence, forbearance, respect for American values and traditions, and above all class that were on display in his farewell speech.
If you think Jan. No matter how petty or two-faced his opponents were, Obama rarely paid them back in kind. The crisis of was the ideal moment to abandon the failed strategy of liberal hegemony that the United States had been pursuing since the end of the Cold War, but in the end Obama never broke with that familiar but failed approach.
The result was a legacy of foreign-policy missteps that helped propel Donald Trump into the White House. Instead of acknowledging that U. He rightly banned torture — which is both ineffective and illegal — but otherwise let U.
Meanwhile, his administration prosecuted whistleblowers and journalists with more vigor than any of his predecessors. The United States is conducting counterterrorism operations in more places than ever before, albeit without apparent success, and Donald Trump has inherited a set of tools he can use to suppress honest reporting if he wishes.
Second, Obama and his team misread and mishandled the Arab Spring. As Joshua Landis explains in a remarkable, must-read interview, the U. In particular, Obama and his team mistakenly viewed the Arab Spring as a large-scale, grass-roots uprising clamoring for liberal democracy and embraced it too quickly.
They also underestimated the ability of violent extremists to exploit power vacuums in failed states and the resilience of authoritarian regimes in places like Syria or Egypt.
As regular readers know, I think Obama made the right call when he decided not to wade deeper into the Syrian quagmire, but his handling of this admittedly turbulent and difficult-to-read process can hardly be considered a success.
Regarding Israel-Palestine, Obama took office vowing to achieve a two-state solution by the end of his first term, and he and his second-term secretary of state, John Kerry, devoted endless hours to this quixotic quest.
A two-state solution is further away than ever and probably impossible, in part because Obama never seemed to grasp that relying on pro-Israel advisors with a long track record of not producing an agreement was a pretty good way to guarantee failure again.
Nor did Obama and Kerry ever realize that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was not interested in a genuine two-state solution and that Israel was never going to cut a deal unless the United States made it clear that failing to do so would lead to dramatic reductions in U.
Great powers are always sensitive to events near their borders, and Moscow had made it clear, at least sincethat it would not let Ukraine or Georgia drift toward NATO without a fight. It was also abundantly clear that Putin saw U. But the failure to set clearer priorities or liquidate losing positions faster undermined the effort.
Managing relations in Asia is complex, challenging, and time-consuming, and the United States will not be able to manage its Asian alliances and counter a rising China if it is constantly being distracted by events in places of far less strategic importance.
As I argued several years agothe days when the United States could create security and maintain order in nearly every part of the world are behind it, and U.
To a large extent, Obama never made that choice.The Presidential transition of Barack Obama began when Barack Obama won the United States presidential election on November 4, , and became the blog-mmorpg.com was formally elected by the Electoral College on December 15, The results were certified by a joint session of Congress on January 8, , and the transition ended when he was inaugurated at noon on January 20, President Trump is bolstering American influence by leading a coalition of strong and independent nations to promote security, prosperity, and peace both within America’s borders and beyond.
"This is an extremely thoughtful and intelligent analysis of the Obama administration's foreign policy―a model of serious research on contemporary foreign affairs. It is a conceit of the Trump administration that its foreign policy is entirely different from that of Barack Obama.
Even in an otherwise conciliatory State of the Union address, Trump strove to. Barack Obama’s impending departure from the White House has put many Americans in an elegiac mood. Despite an average approval rating of only 48 percent — the lowest, surprisingly, of our last.