At the beginning of this year, I made the following observation:
The novelty of the Obama presidency has worn off. What remains will be a long, hard slog of rebuilding America's global position. And while the fancy rhetoric of 2009 convinced many to give Washington a second chance, 2010 needs to be the year of delivery. If not, Obama will discover, as Bush did before him, that America cannot lead if others will not follow.
More than halfway through 2010, the Obama administration has made some progress on a number of the foreign policy challenges facing the United States. There has been a modest breakthrough in Washington's previously contentious relations with Moscow. Not only did a new Iran sanctions resolution pass in the U.N. Security Council, the European Union agreed to severely curtail its economic and business links with Tehran. A "surge" is set to begin in Afghanistan, and the U.S. is preparing to wind down its combat mission in Iraq.
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