Hard Power in a Soft Package: The ‘True’ Conservatism of Obama Leadership in Foreign Policy

0 21
Analyzing President Obama’s foreign policy, or rather, analyzing the intellectual and positional evolution of his global positions is no easy task. It would not be hyperbole to say Obama came into office with the hopes and dreams of millions of Democrats and perhaps even the muted optimism of many moderate Republicans. In other words, hitting everything right on the mark was likely impossible.


Barack Obama

This only makes the present analysis more interesting, for the early presidency of Obama has been marked by vicious attacks from the right, deep disappointment from the left and relative indifference from the international community. This negativity is more understandable when the main argument here is entertained: expectations have not been met in terms of foreign policy because Obama’s positions have more closely aligned with what some might call ‘true’ conservatism, something no side foresaw in 2008.

This apparent foreign policy surprise is partially the result of an interconnected process of push-and-pull: conservatives look to regain a dominant position for the future and democrats look to truly feel as if the President is one of them. This study is not so much how successfully he achieves peace between these two divergent camps, but rather how frustrating he seems to be to both for his failure to meet the stereotypical expectations of either side. One thing seems to be certain when looking at Obama foreign policy: external criticism of his positions seems to lead to a pragmatic overreaction that is more aligned with a moderate conservatism and makes him notoriously difficult to label with a broad left-leaning or right-leaning brush.

First the somber news: President Obama’s first term makes clear that there is no dawning of a new age in foreign policy development, benevolently bent on finding a ‘new means’ for dealing with 21st century conflict. Perhaps it was unfair to expect such a result, but then again it was Obama himself who seemed eager to rise to such a challenge. These ‘new means’ were meant to incorporate all of the tools and capabilities at the disposal of American might. (Obama 2007) It was Obama who boldly declared his administration would go beyond mere rhetoric and focus instead on achieving concrete results with these ‘new means.’ (Obama 2007)

Published in Journal of Global Analysis (JGA) Vol. 3  No. 1


About the author / 


Leave a reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  • 25th Issue is Online Now!

    Vol. VI | No. IV – October-November-December 2020 To Download the Magazine Click Here… CONTENTS 05-13….. World News by Ebru Birinci 15-20….. The Jungle Grows Back How can We Redefine the Future World Order in the Tension of Power and Ideas? by Marco Marsili 22-29….. Interview With Professor Katharyne Mitchell by Ozgur Tufekci & Rahman…

  • 24th Issue is Online Now!

    Vol. VI | No. III – July-August-September 2020 To Download the Magazine Click Here… CONTENTS 05-14….. World News by Ebru Birinci 17-24….. Preparedness for an Uncertain Future “The Only Thing We Have to Fear is Fear Itself” by Professor Mark Meirowitz 25-39….. EU LAW vs UK LAW The Primacy of EU Law over National Law:…

  • IEPAS2020 is Going Virtual!

    Dear Friends and Colleagues, IEPAS2020 is Going Virtual! Due to the COVID19 pandemic, we are holding our entire conference virtually by streaming all of the live sessions. You may participate in all of our virtual networking events. In case of missing a session, you may get full access to the replays of every session since all…

  • The 13th issue of JCTS (Journal of Conflict Transformation & Security) is out now…

    The 13th issue of JCTS (Journal of Conflict Transformation & Security) is out now… Vol. 8 | No. 1 | 2020 Click here to Download the Entire Issue   TABLE OF CONTENTS Editor’s Note By David Curran Introduction By Nergis Canefe Research Articles Statelessness as a Permanent State: Challenges to the Human Security Paradigm By…

  • The 19th Issue of The Rest: Journal of Politics and Development is Out Now!

    The 19th issue of the rest: journal of politics and development is out now. Download the issue here… TABLE OF CONTENTS Research Articles Turkish AK Parti’s Posture towards the 2003 War in Iraq: The Impact of Religion amid Security Concerns By Alberto Gasparetto Nigeria and the Great Powers: The Impacts of the Boko Haram Terrorism on…

  • CESRAN International Named again amongst the Top Think Tanks in the World

    CESRAN International is pleased to announce that it has been named again amongst the world’s best think tanks. The 2019 Global Go To Think Tank Index ranked CESRAN International 141st among the World’s “Top Think Tanks in Western Europe” 75th among the World’s “Top Environment Policy Think Tanks” 153rd among the World’s “Top Foreign Policy…