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The Realist Prism: As U.S. Midterms Approach, Expect Mixed Messages on Foreign Policy

Nikolas Gvosdev Friday, Jan. 24, 2014

President Barack Obama now has a little less than three years left in office, and the latest political parlor game is to try and discern what shape the final tranche of his administration will take. David Remnick’s profile of Obama in the New Yorker suggests that the next 12 months or so represents the administration’s last chance to set in concrete what it hopes its lasting contributions to U.S. foreign and domestic policy will be. After that, the calendar will shift, with the dominant question becoming who will succeed Obama come January 2017.

So will the last third of Obama’s tenure in office be defined by propositions for major new initiatives, with the clear knowledge that failure is very much an option? Or will it be characterized by cautious efforts to secure a more modest legacy? And how much will the president focus on foreign affairs? ...

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