A Rosy-Eyed View of Obama’s Foreign Policy From an Administration Loyalist

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Media Outlet: the Washington Post

Rosa Brooks wrote for the Washington Post about the Obama Administrations foreign policy views:

Appalled by the trial and execution of his mentor Socrates in 399 B.C., the Greek philosopher Plato published his own remembered (or imagined) version of Socrates’ final speech to the citizens of Athens. Today, Plato’s “Apology of Socrates” stands as the most famous example of the literary form that came to be known as the apologia: a text that is not, in fact, an apology at all but rather an elaborate defense.

Though it is wholly without literary pretensions, Derek Chollet’s “The Long Game” stands squarely in the tradition of Plato’s “Apology.” Chollet’s measured prose doesn’t hide his passionate conviction that President Obama has been as much a victim of demagogic politics as Socrates ever was — though in Chollet’s narrative, the villains are Beltway insiders, the news media and other assorted (though mostly unnamed) critics, rather than the Athenian authorities.

Chollet, who served under Obama in several senior national security positions, is convinced that the president “has redefined the purpose and exercise of American power for a new era,” leaving “America stronger at home and abroad.” Yet his foreign policy has been “dismissed as a failure, not just by his political opponents, but also . . . by much of the Democratic foreign policy” establishment.

Author:

Rosa Brooks is an ASU Future of War senior fellow at New America, working with the International Security program and the ASU Future of War project. She writes about the changing nature of warfare, the changing role of the U.S. military, and need to rethink core assumptions about the laws of war.