For as long as Barack Obama has been president, his Republican critics have regularly accused him of being some sort of political radical. After reading the mammoth foreign policy profile of Obama by Jeffrey Goldberg in The Atlantic, I’m prepared to admit they are correct. Obama is a foreign policy radical, just not just for the reasons they think.
What is perhaps most striking about Goldberg’s article and the interviews with Obama included in it is how distinctly Obama stands outside the foreign policy mainstream, and how willing he is to question the most prized of foreign policy sacred cows.
Let’s take them one by one. There is, perhaps, no notion more widely held in the D.C. foreign policy community than the idea that U.S. credibility is a critically important asset that must be backed, if necessary, with the use of force.