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An Assessment of Obama’s Long Game

Derek Chollet, Senior Advisor for Security and Defense Policy at The German Marshall Fund of the United States and former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs
Eliot Cohen, Director of Strategic Studies and Director of the Philip Merrill Center for Strategic Studies

September 20, 2016

Has the Obama administration succeeded in its plan to reset and rebalance American influence in the Middle East? Will the Iran nuclear deal be judged a success or a failure? What, if anything, exemplifies the foreign policy "grand strategy" of the Obama White House? These questions and more were discussed by Strategic Studies Director Eliot Cohen and author Derek Chollet, who recently published a new book, The Long Game: How Obama Defied Washington and Redefined America’s Role in the World (PublicAffairs, June 2016).

Chollet made the case for Obama's foreign policy "long game," asserting that the administration has been willing to make hard policy choices today that can better serve American interests in the long run. Historians will reflect favorably on Obama's foreign policy as positive and influential, Chollet said, even if his job approval ratings have taken a hit during his second term. 

Cohen offered counterpoints for and against the president's strategic successes and shortcomings. The debate provided the audience an invitation to read The Long Game, which Cohen called one of the most eloquent defenses to date of President Obama's foreign policy legacy. 

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