Dangerous Doctrine by Robert G. Kaufman
How Obama's Grand Strategy Weakened America

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...Kaufman’s insistence on including the promotion of democracy as part of that grand strategy rings hollow. It harkens back to the worst features of the so-called “Bush Doctrine” that sowed the seeds for our failures in Iraq and Afghanistan.
-NY Journal of Books

Synopsis

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 Robert G. Kaufman

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Robert G. Kaufman, professor of public policy at Pepperdine University, is the author of numerous publications, including Henry M. Jackson: A Life in Politics. He is a former Bradley Scholar and current adjunct scholar at the Heritage Foundation.
 
Published April 18, 2016 by The University Press of Kentucky. 295 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, History. Non-fiction
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NY Journal of Books

Below average
Reviewed by Francis P. Sempa on Jun 01 2016

...Kaufman’s insistence on including the promotion of democracy as part of that grand strategy rings hollow. It harkens back to the worst features of the so-called “Bush Doctrine” that sowed the seeds for our failures in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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