Obama’s Foreign Policy Is Again in the Crosshairs

U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama prepare to greet U.S. President-elect Donald Trump and his wife Melania for tea before the inauguration at the White House in Washington

Former foreign policy grandees Ben Rhodes and Sam Power defended their old boss’ legacy earlier this week, to conservative ire, as the White House weighs shuttering the Iran deal.

Others have actually compared and noted some continuity, so far, between the administrations.

But Rhodes and Power chafe at that. “I think that there’s something very, very different about President Obama investing in alliances, building a hyper-charged different kind of relationship with China and with India, and then drawing on that political capital to get them to do more in the international system, than holding our allies in contempt, ripping up international treaties, showing our word means nothing, and then demanding that people do what we say. So, I don’t see a lot of continuity,” Power said.

“We’re all for the liberal international order,” noted Rhodes. Some who’ve consulted significantly with the president, including the now-excommunicated former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, have told me they view the order as essentially a relic, and effectively over, in reality. But as neocons ascend within the Trump administration, the opposite perspective could be gaining ground.

Curt Mills is a foreign-affairs reporter at the National Interest. Follow him on Twitter: @CurtMills.

Image: Reuters

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