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Obama showed restraint in foreign policy: Expert


New Delhi: In his eight years across two terms, US President Barack Obama showed restraint in his foreign policy that helped him focus on issues back home, noted strategic expert Ashley J. Tellis said here on Thursday.

The Indian-origin Tellis said this while delivering a speech on “America and the World: Obama’s Strategic Legacy” organised by the Carnegie Foundation think tank in collaboration with the US embassy.

Tellis said that Obama’s restraint and “non-expansionist” foreign policy helped him concentrate on domestic policies and problems.

The President did not move to assert military force and resisted such force unless there was “clear and present danger” to the US, Tellis said.

In fighting terrorism, Obama focused on homeland security and counter-terrorism cooperation with other countries and ensured that he did not succumb to military adventurism, according to the strategic expert.

He said that in fighting terrorism, the US leader preferred the use of drones rather than forces on the ground.

But Obama failed to identify the genesis of the Islamic State (IS) quasi-state terror outfit and by the time he realised the threat, the ways to tackle it became much more expensive.

According to Tellis, after assuming office, Obama adopted a three-pronged approach to tackle the enormous challenges facing him: He decided that it was time for the US to do nation-building at home; he was very flexible in his efforts at accommodation; and he laid emphasis on collective action rather than unilateral action.

Obama, Tellis said, did a lot to retrieve the reputation of the US and the US and the world was better off at the end of his second term.

As for India, Tellis, who is also senior associate with the Carnegie Foundation, said that the country was “clearly better off” because of Obama’s policies.


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