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May 13, 2016
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Dangerous Doctrine

How Obama's Grand Strategy Weakened America

Much like Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan, President Barack Obama came to office as a politician who emphasized conviction rather than consensus. During his 2008 presidential campaign, he pledged to transform the role of the United States abroad. His ambitious foreign policy goals included a global climate treaty, the peaceful withdrawal of American military forces from Iraq and Afghanistan, and a new relationship with Iran. Throughout Obama's tenure, pundits and scholars have offered competing interpretations of his "grand strategy," while others have maintained that his policies were incoherent or, at best, ad hoc.

In Dangerous Doctrine, political scientist Robert G. Kaufman argues that the forty-fourth president has indeed articulated a clear, consistent national security policy and has pursued it with remarkable fidelity. Yet Kaufman contends that President Obama has imprudently abandoned the muscular internationalism that has marked US foreign policy since the end of World War II. Drawing on international relations theory and American diplomatic history, Kaufman presents a robust critique of the Obama doctrine as he situates the president's use of power within the traditions of American strategic practice.

Focusing on the pivotal regions of Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, this provocative study demonstrates how current executive branch leadership threatens America's role as a superpower, weakening its ability to spread democracy and counter threats to geopolitical order in increasingly unstable times. Kaufman proposes a return to the grand strategy of moral democratic realism, as practiced by presidents such as Harry S. Truman, Ronald Reagan, and George W. Bush, with the hope of reestablishing the United States as the world's dominant power.

About the Author

Robert G. Kaufman is professor of public policy at Pepperdine University. He is the author of Henry M. Jackson: A Life in Politics and In Defense of the Bush Doctrine.

Reviews

"One of the best sustained and systematic critiques of the foreign policy of the Obama administration I have seen. Kaufman's empirically driven theorizing is a breath of fresh air among the largely counterfactually driven theories of international relations of recent years"—Douglas J. Macdonald, author of Adventures in Chaos: American Intervention for Reform in the Third World

"Nothing could be further from the truth than the often-made claim that President Obama did not have a national security strategy. One could not ask for a better analysis of that strategy than the one Robert Kaufman offers in Dangerous Doctrine."—James McAllister, author of No Exit: America and the German Problem, 1943-1954

"The verdict is in: Arguing that Obama has 'imprudently abandoned the venerable tradition of muscular internationalism' of nearly all his predecessors, Robert Kaufman brilliantly establishes what a devastating failure his amateurish grab-bag of progressive policies have been in the three key regions of Russia-Europe, the Middle East, and East Asia."—Daniel Pipes, President, Middle East Forum

"A well-informed and nuanced critique of Obama's foreign policy. Kaufman shows unmistakably that Obama has a foreign policy doctrine. Read his book to get the best account to date of that 'dangerous' doctrine."—Henry R. Nau, author of Conservative Internationalism: Armed Diplomacy under Jefferson, Polk, Truman, and Reagan

"Drawing on international relations theory and American diplomatic history, Kaufman presents a robust critique of the Obama doctrine as he situates the president's use of power within the traditions of American strategic practice.

Focusing on the pivotal regions of Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, this provocative

study demonstrates how current executive branch leadership threatens America's role as a superpower, weakening its ability to spread democracy and counter threats to geopolitical order in increasingly unstable times."—Pepperdine Newsroom

9780813167206 : dangerous-doctrine-kaufman
Hardback
304 Pages
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Other Titles by Robert G. Kaufman

Henry M. Jackson

Robert G. Kaufman
Oct 2015 - University of Washington Press
$35.00 USD - Paperback / softback
$95.00 USD - Hardback

In Defense of the Bush Doctrine

Robert G. Kaufman
Mar 2008 - University Press of Kentucky
$60.00 USD - Hardback
$24.95 USD - Paperback / softback
$24.95 USD - Electronic book text

Other Titles in POLITICAL SCIENCE / American Government / Executive Branch

Harold Stassen

Lawrence S. Kaplan
Feb 2018 - University Press of Kentucky
$80.00 USD - Hardback
$80.00 USD - Electronic book text
$80.00 USD - Electronic book text

US Presidential Elections and Foreign Policy

edited by Andrew Johnstone, Andrew Priest, with contributions by Andrew Johnstone, Andrew Priest, J. Simon Rofe, Michael F. Hopkins, Steven Casey, Scott Lucas, Sylvia Ellis, Thomas Tunstall Allcock, Sandra Scanlon, Thomas Alan Schwartz,...
Apr 2017 - University Press of Kentucky
$60.00 USD - Hardback
$60.00 USD - Electronic book text
$60.00 USD - Electronic book text

Rethinking the Administrative Presidency

William G. Resh
Oct 2015 - The Johns Hopkins University Press
$44.95 USD - Paperback / softback
$44.95 USD - Electronic book text