(K. Brent Tomer),
The Long Game: How Obama Defied Washington and Redefined America’s Role in the World. By Derek Chollet. PublicAffairs; 247 pages; $26.99 and £17.99.
WHEN Barack Obama comes to write his memoirs they will no doubt be an elegantly persuasive account of the ideas that guided his presidency. Until then “The Long Game”, Derek Chollet’s apologia for what he sees as Mr Obama’s distinctive approach to grand strategy, is likely to be the closest that anyone will come to understanding the thinking behind a foreign policy that has many critics.
Having served in senior positions in the State Department, the National Security Council and the Pentagon, Mr Chollet has been close to the action throughout the Obama years. His contention is that the foreign-policy establishment in Washington (of which he admits to having been a “card-carrying member for over two decades”) has underestimated the extent of Mr Obama’s achievement. Policymakers at home lambast Mr Obama for having overlearned the lessons of Iraq, for his extreme caution and aversion to the use of America’s hard power in support of global order and for an…Continue reading