What are the core ideas of President Obama's approach to world affairs? How can common security and common humanity be addressed within this?
President Barack Obama (2009–2017) was determined to make a new start in America's foreign policy. Obama rejected the unilateral approach to diplomacy favored by his predecessor, George W. Bush. Obama's foreign policies were generally multilateral and reflected a long-term strategy. He sought to avoid making big mistakes, and he wanted to engage the rest of the world. In general, he preferred patient diplomacy and economic cooperation to large-scale war.
Obama's presidency was welcomed by the world community. Most nations had grown tired of Bush's unilateralism and aggressiveness. Most world leaders hoped that Obama would usher in a new era for American diplomacy. In 2009, at the beginning of his first term in office, Obama received the Nobel Peace Prize. American critics—especially Republicans—argued that he had not done anything to deserve the honor.
When Obama was sworn into office in 2009, the country was mired in large-scale wars in both Afghanistan and Iraq. Those wars, which had begun in 2001 and 2003, respectively, seemed futile. Obama had long opposed the Iraq War and he was determined to end it. He actually sent additional American troops to Afghanistan, though.
Obama's multilateral approach to foreign policy was best illustrated by the Iran nuclear deal (2015) and the Paris Climate Agreement (2016). These multilateral agreements dealt with nuclear proliferation and climate change.
President Donald Trump took the U.S. out of both of those agreements. Trump also undid Obama's Cuban diplomacy. In fact, he has sought to unravel all of Obama's foreign policies.
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