Barack Obama & problematic U.S foreign policy traditions

President Barack Obama participates in a G8 Summit working session. The White House. Elcano Blog
( Official White House Photo by Pete Souza / Flickr)

“If the transformation is happening it is because of the limits imposed on the US”

Ronald W. Pruessen, Professor of History at the University of Toronto – Munk School of Global Affairs- is a specialist on twentieth-century U.S. Foreign Policy and International Relations. Profesor Pruessen was invited by Elcano Royal Institute last November in order to speak about the Barack Obama’s presidency and his Foreign Policy.

During this interview, Professor Pruessen analyzed Obama’s Foreign Policy in relation to US history and tradition. Claiming that although he wants to be a powerful and transformative president, in terms of international affairs, he had to adjust to the 21st century realities. Professor Pruesen argues that this change was inevitable since the US is “in relative terms, not as powerful as it once was”, therefore needing to “work more multilaterally”.

The growing power of China, India or Brazil has limited the role of the US as the leading global actor, says Professor Pruessen.  He argues this sitatution will be Obama’s legacy in Foreign Affairs.  In comparative terms, the University of Toronto professor states that the Obama’s presidency has been an improvement over his predecessor’s, due to his capacity of relative readjustment to the reality of the current international arena.