Obama's Foreign Policy Challenges

The day after Election Day, I received a message from my friend Kelvin, an Irish photographer.

I thanked my friend but offered a note of caution. Obama, I told him, is certain to be more diplomatic and open to multilateral solutions than was President Bush, but he'll still need to consider U.S. strategic interests. And as any democratically elected head of state, he has to consider the views of the voters. He can show leadership by getting out in front of them and trying to convince them of the importance of a change in direction on any given foreign policy issue, but he can only go so far.

The bottom-line is that, inevitably, Obama is going to make decisions that will disappoint his international fans. The reaction to his election in various trouble spots around the world ought to be enough to illustrate that:

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Associate Editor, The Kiplinger Letter