Analysis: Obama’s Foreign Policy Challenges

Foreign Policy Association
Marco Vicenzino, Young Leader 2008

In winning over 50 percent of the popular vote, President-elect Barack Obama can claim a popular mandate, but in order to unify the nation and its position abroad he must govern from the center of the American political spectrum. Doing so will not be easy, as Americans remain divided on many foreign policy concerns and pressure to live up to huge international expectations grows.

Overall, the 2008 election was void of real debate on foreign policy issues, with both candidates offering more rhetoric than substance. U.S. foreign policy now requires more realism and results and less rhetoric. The world today is marked by newly emerging geographical centers of power, particularly in the developing world, coupled by the rise of non-state actors (such as NGOs, multinational corporations, and terrorist groups) and newly emerging non-geographical centers of power, particularly virtual centers of power, such as the realm of cyberspace. Multi-tasking in a multi-centric world remains an absolute priority.

The comparisons between JFK and Obama are inevitable but the times are completely different.

To read the full article : Foreign Policy Association


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