The Blessings of the Obama Doctrine

His political victories of the past weeks have guaranteed him a place in U.S. history: President Barack Obama will be remembered as a reformer of domestic U.S. politics.

But can the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize laureate duplicate this success in the field of foreign policy as well? That will be answered over the next few days and weeks. Because of Obama’s efforts, the 50-year Cold War between the United States and Cuba will come to an end and diplomatic relations between the two nations will be reestablished. But even more importantly, a nuclear agreement between the U.S. and archenemy Iran is now all but completed.

Both initiatives are being opposed by the Republicans and even by a few members of Obama’s own Democrats because in the coming decisive weeks both parties are gearing up for the 2016 presidential elections. The Republican candidates, above all, are united in their opposition: No nuclear agreement with Tehran and no normalization of diplomatic relations with Cuba. According to the Republicans, Obama is not only a foreign policy failure but an actual threat to America’s global interests.

Should one of them make it into the Oval Office on Jan. 20, 2017, it will mean uncomfortable times ahead, because it’s certain that a Republican president will pursue domestic and foreign policy in a more aggressive manner. He will rely more on America’s military might and will try — in as far as is possible — to reverse Obama’s decisions.

This would have far-reaching ramifications from Ukraine to Asia. If the United States begins to engage more aggressively in military conflicts, it would have an impact on Europe, NATO and Germany. This is already apparent since the U. S. began ramping up military operations in Iraq.

Moreover, for the first time a majority of Americans approve of a stronger military response to terrorism. That same majority also thinks that Obama’s foreign policy measures have not been severe enough. That view is largely shared even by Hillary Clinton who hopes to succeed Obama in the White House in 2017.

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