When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

eyes on the U.S.

Obama's Foreign Policy, A New Expression Of American Power

The Obama administration says, try talking to truculent states instead of squeezing or bombing them. In its own way, this is an eminently imperial approach.

Obama and top advisors on Air Force One.
Obama and top advisors on Air Force One.
Ricardo Kirschbaum

-OpEd-

BUENOS AIRES — President Barack Obama is redirecting U.S. foreign policy, and it is no trivial shift. Washington has opened a dialog with Cuba, applying a tone that is not only already a radical departure from what it has been for decades, but is also bound to change further in the near future.

In Myanmar, it is using all its diplomatic might to sustain Myanmar's fledgling democracy against the autocratic designs of its army. Of course, we also know that it is negotiating and forging agreements on nuclear proliferation with Iran, which itself has shifted toward more moderate positions. This too was a historic step, though it provoked the irritation, if not ire, of two Washington allies, Israel and Saudi Arabia.

These are three strategic zones: the American continent, southeast Asia and the ever-simmering Middle East. Obama most recently told The New York Times that a country with overwhelmingly superior strength should also have confidence. He said the United States should see itself as capable of trying out possibilities without constant fear of endangering itself.

While the shift is decisive, it also contains a clear, straightforward message. For we shouldn't imagine that the U.S. President just realized his country was powerful. The point is, the United States is now displaying its power in another way. It does not fear negotiations. Its change of tack is also a recognition of past failures.

Negotiations are at the center of diplomacy and politics, even if certain obtuse people see them simply as weaknesses.

Progress in talks with Cuba will mean that very soon, the idiotic embargo will be forgotten and a new reality will take shape, with immediate regional repercussions. Venezuela has already taken note, amid increasing pressures over the state of human rights there by non-governmental organizations.

The draft agreement with Iran, announced days ago, still requires much work with that country, as well as with United States' fearful allies and the U.S. Congress itself and right-wing Republicans. But even the deal's most vociferous critics cannot deny the enormous impact it can have on the international sphere.

Obama has said he would like Congress not to meddle in these affairs, but he cannot stop it from doing so, nor impede a public debate on the deal that could subject him to vicious criticisms. Other powers that helped broker the deal, like Russia, have warned that the provisional text was a step toward easing tensions but, obviously, cannot assure a successful outcome.

And yet, this opportunity — like others being revealed — should not be spurned: the world is now seeing an American stab at using reason to resolve international conflicts.

You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Stories from the best international journalists.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
Already a subscriber? Log in

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
Geopolitics

How The Trump Universe Is Backing Bolsonaro’s Reelection Bid In Brazil

Brazil’s Agência Pública reveals that Gettr, the social network run by Donald Trump's former adviser Jason Miller, has sponsored conservative conferences in Brazil ahead of October’s presidential elections, which Steve Bannon has called the most important in South American history.

Bolsonaro and Trump supporters in Brasilia, Brazil

Alice Maciel

Over the past year, the U.S. social network Gettr, run by Donald Trump's former adviser Jason Miller, has been sponsoring political events that support the re-election campaign of Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil’s far-right president. The events have been organized by the Instituto Conservador Liberal (ICL), the think tank set up by congressman Eduardo Bolsonaro, the president’s son, and Sérgio Sant'Ana, a lawyer and former adviser to the Ministry of Education.

Keep reading...Show less

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Stories from the best international journalists.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
Already a subscriber? Log in
Writing contest - My pandemic story
THE LATEST
FOCUS
TRENDING TOPICS

Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

Watch VideoShow less
MOST READ