Obama and U.S. Strategy: A New Beginning

Obama and U.S. Strategy: A New Beginning

No president could restructure U.S. national security strategy in 100 days. It is possible to announce new strategic concepts and goals, and to make some time-urgent changes. In practice, however, it takes months to translate strategic concepts into detailed plans and budgets, and even the most urgent actions take time to implement. A major restructuring of U.S. procurement or military end strength can take several years to implement, and the same is true of any major reorganization of a key department and the interagency process.

Changing America's Image

That said, having inherited one of the worst presidential legacies of the postwar era, President Obama has made an impressive start in changing America's image, and the goals and concepts that shape the operational realities of its national security strategy. Image in international relations is often as important as substance, and the new president acted quickly to change America's. From the start, he made it clear that his administration was willing to listen as well as speak. During his first 100 days, he showed he was far more willing to consult America's allies, work with other nations and the U.N., and pay attention to religious and cultural sensitivities in dealing with terrorist and extremist movements.

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