Geopolitical Implications of American Foreign Policy under Obama

Prof. Dr. Tarık OĞUZLU
26 January 2016
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Since the early Cold War years up to now, the United States has been the most powerful actor in global politics. The policy choices successive American administrations adopted have tremendously shaped the direction of international relations all over the world. The particular liberal world order that came into being under the American stewardship has most of the time constituted the yardstick to define appropriate international practices, legitimate global norms, status quo powers, revisionist challengers as well as relations of enmity, rivalry and friendship among different states.

 

The dynamics of security relationships in different parts of the globe, particularly in Europe, East Asia and Middle East, have been greatly shaped by American strategic preferences and the massive material power at the disposal of American decision makers. The United States has long been the main security provider in these regions. In their efforts to provide security and ensure the proper functioning of the global system, American decision makers have relied on strategic partnerships and cooperation with allies and like-minded states.

 

Europe has been a stable, secure and prosperous place mainly due to the strong American contribution to NATO, the European Union integration process and other institutional platforms whereby European nations could devote their limited resources to developing a post-modern/post-national heaven in their continent. Despite the American demand that European allies share some of the burden within NATO, the US tolerated the free-riding of Europeans in the name of preserving its unrivalled leadership in Europe and ensuring the credibility of NATO against the Soviet threat. 

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