Magazine September 22, 2014, Issue

The Unrealist

(AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
A judgment of our president’s foreign policy

Even before his presidency began, Barack Obama articulated a foreign-policy course markedly different from that of his immediate predecessors. Not only did he present himself as the anti-Bush, but he also indicated that his administration would take a different approach to national security than had the Clinton administration. He was to be, in his aides’ terms, a “realist,” much in the mold of George H. W. Bush. As his then–chief of staff Rahm Emanuel put it in 2010: “Everybody always breaks it down between idealist and realist. If you had to put him in a category, he’s probably more realpolitik,

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Elbridge Colby — Mr. Colby is a principal at the Marathon Initiative. As deputy assistant secretary of defense for strategy and force development, he served as the lead official in the development of the 2018 National Defense Strategy. He is the author of The Strategy of Denial: American Defense in an Age of Great Power Conflict.

In This Issue

Articles

Politics & Policy

The Unrealist

Even before his presidency began, Barack Obama articulated a foreign-policy course markedly different from that of his immediate predecessors. Not only did he present himself as the anti-Bush, but he ...

Features

Books, Arts & Manners

City Desk

Look in the Mirror

All these columns are about some place! But this column is about the Twitterverse! Twitterverse is no place! Its strings of words and spaces <140 characters! You see your margin shrink ...
Politics & Policy

Looking for Tom

I do not know much about gods; but     I think that the river Is a strong brown god — sullen,     untamed and intractable.            — T. S. Eliot, “The Dry Salvages” London was ...

Sections

Politics & Policy

Poetry

BLUE MOUNTAINS Modest as mountains go, they have a charm in that close-to-home majesty, surmounted by a spine of falling away bald rock, dangerous as any siren song of explorer’s imagining, with plenty of room for ...
Politics & Policy

And Now You May Laugh

I presume there is a healthy overlap between Emmy viewers and NR readers, so apologies for covering well-worn territory. However, those of you who missed last month’s awards show failed ...
Politics & Policy

Letters

Immigrant Entrepreneurs I read with interest the article by Jay Nordlinger, “The State of Maine,” in the August 11 issue. He discusses, among other things, the recent influx of Somali immigrants. ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ President Obama says the United States will not tolerate Russia’s “brazen assault” on Ukraine. A discrete, tactful assault, on the other hand . . . ‐ That was quick. In ...
Athwart

Golden Oligarchy

The world is a curious place where coincidences abound, but there’s something suspicious about the timing here: As relations between the West and Russia curdle and rot, McDonald’s restaurants are ...

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