Obama's foreign policy earns praise

Aug. 5, 2009 at 3:06 PM
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WASHINGTON, Aug. 5 (UPI) -- The foreign policy directives of U.S. President Barack Obama in trouble spots ranging from NATO to Pakistan are on solid ground, analysts say.

Obama enters his second hundred days in office with analysts swarming to assess his performance on a variety of domestic and international issues.

With the war in Iraq winding down while a troop surge commences in Afghanistan, his foreign policy initiatives deserve special attention, writes Michael O'Hanlon, a senior fellow at The Brookings Institution.

O'Hanlon, writing for the Washington Examiner, says the handling of national security issues by the Obama administration is "off to a good start."

On the association with NATO allies, O'Hanlon notes that Obama has continued with the status quo, moving closer to the alliance in a way that could strengthen international pressure countering Iran's nuclear ambitions and other regional challenges.

Meanwhile, the so-called AFPAK strategy and lingering issues from the Iraq conflict test Obama's abilities as a war-time leader. Obama, however, has wisely listened to the advice of his top military commanders and Defense Secretary Robert Gates, making tough decisions on both fronts, O'Hanlon writes.

While recognizing none of the foreign policy challenges facing Obama may be easy, O'Hanlon offers sweeping praise for the new administration.

"At a time when Obama is having some challenges on the home front, as regards his foreign policy, my overall assessment is so far, so good," he concludes.

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