Barack Obama's Views on American Global Leadership

The paper picks the article 'Renewing American Leadership" by Barack Obama. The article was written in 2007 when Obama was a Presidential candidate. Subject matter. The article discusses issues on American global leadership, especially on the Iraq war. Additionally, it delves into climate change and how America can play a role in reducing the impacts of climate change. The article is relevant to America's politics since currently, the country has adopted a nationalistic approach that shies away from national leadership. Further, the current administration is breaking some of the alliances that America has held dear over the years such as cooperation with the European Union and instead of taking unilateral approaches in matters of global importance such as climate change. Thesis statement.  America, being the most powerful country on earth, must stand up to the worldwide leadership and maintain international alliances. In the process of ensuring global order, the United States may employ various means including resorting to war. Any move must, however, be well-thought to protect not only America's interest but the global interest as well.

Connections " Claims with Evidence

            In the article Barack Obama analyses various issues affecting America. Of particular focus is the war in Iraq. He argues that America's entry into the Iraq war was uncalled for and that it cost the country thousands of lives. The paper calls for a responsible withdrawal from the war. Obama asserts the threats to America can be faced through diplomacy rather than military action (Obama, 2007). The US military must enhance its capabilities to combat threats. The global threats are intertwined with America's security. Cooperation with other countries such as Russia in the pursuit of matters of common interest is essential. Alliances and institutions are also crucial in the efforts to curb climate change. The issues raised in the article are relevant as America deals with the matters of Iran. Currently, the US administration has unilateral sanctions against Iran, ignoring the role of other international partners such as the European Union.

            Bipartisanship is an issue that the Obama article discusses and which is relevant in today's America's politics. Franklin Roosevelt defined leadership as the art of getting someone to do something willingly (Nabers, 2016). The Obama administration adopted the approach in its international engagements. It was effective in attaining compromises such as the Iran nuclear deal and the Paris Agreement on climate change. The bipartisanship is something that is currently lacking in America's leadership. The administration is bulldozing its way on issues such as migration and healthcare. The style of governance is not practical since it leaves a section of the country feeling dejected. Once a government is in place, it must serve all Americans irrespective of their political affiliation. The current administration can help heal the rifts in the country and be more decisive through adopting a bipartisan approach.

            The subject matter of this article is war in the context of America's global leadership. The author contextualizes the issue by first describing America's might and how great leaders such as Roosevelt used America's greatness to prevent world crises. The article does not provide California context. The subject matter affects the entire country. Issues such as American soldiers losing lives in senseless war are not confined to any state. The soldiers come from every part of the country. Further, the impacts of the government approach to climate change issues affect environmental conservation in every state. California is one of the states that has taken great strides in protecting the environment.

            The author's case for responsible America leadership at the global stage makes sense. It recognizes the changes in the 21st century. At the time the article is written, America was engaged in war in Iraq that had cost the America citizens so much regarding resources and the lives lost. The war appeared to have no end in sight. Most of the Americans at the time faulted the Bush administration for engaging in the war and were in support of withdrawal. Just like Obama, I believe that war is not the only solution to global threats. The use of tough diplomacy, for instance, was effective in getting Iran to sign the nuclear deal. In the paper, the author gives his position then goes ahead to back it with evidence. It shows in writing the article, Obama is well-informed. For instance, when talking about withdrawing from Iraq, Obama explains the reasons for such a move. He posits that America cannot solve the internal problems in Iraq and it is up to the people of Iraq to determine the destiny of their country. The author gives the readers a glimpse of history. The history serves to remind the people of America's greatness.

            One of the principles that the author reiterates is globalization. In the article, Obama explains that world problems are so interwoven that America cannot shy away from global leadership. The article by Obama is linked to the five principles of America's politics. The rationality principle states that political behavior must be goal-oriented. In this regard, the primary goal is achieving peace in the most effective manner. Through the proposals provided by the author, the United States government can help in fostering global peace and maintaining its leadership in the international arena. The institution principle. The author recognizes the role of the institution of the Presidency and provides proposals on how he will implement some of the much-needed changes when he is elected as President. In the current context, the Presidency must provide leadership on critical issues both at the domestic stage and in the international arena. Collective action. Obama calls for collective action of not only all Americans but even other countries and players in the international scene. He gives an example of when George H. W. Bush mobilized the international community to remove Saddam Hussein from his invasion of Kuwait. Policy principle. The author claims that the challenges facing America are because of Bush's failed policies. Formulation of good policies is key to the realization of any desired outcome.

            One of the questions that America is currently facing is its role in global leadership. There is a wave that seeks to promote protectionism. The withdrawal of the US from the Paris Agreement created a vacuum in the global leadership since the US has long been considered as a leader in global matters (Zhang et al. 2017). The question that lies is whether America first may result in the isolation of America. In the article 'Renewing American Leadership,' Obama reiterates the place of America in global leadership. He affirms that America needs to treat the other countries as a partner, not a patron and to know where to compromise. The approach adopted by the current administration differs from the approach that was championed by Obama.

            The argument that has always been championed by the Trump administration is that by adopting protectionist policies, they are making America great again. While the reasoning may apply in some instances by promoting the negotiation of better trade deals, it has significant flaws. The country risks trade wars, with other countries retaliating the high tariffs imposed by the US government. The reversal of the NAFTA agreement, for instance, will lead to the decline of trade and investment in Mexico, Canada and the US (Walmsley, 2017). The protectionist policy, while it may appear popular at the most, it is not sustainable in the increasingly global world. The US is the world's largest economy, needs markets across the globe. The market can only be achieved through international collaborations and fair trade practices.


            From my analysis of the article, I find the article reasonable. The ideas espoused by the author still hold today, the United States cannot quit leadership at the global stage and still maintain her greatness. The author looks at America's politics not only from the domestic perspective but also from the global angle. America can lessen the burden she bears in the international stage by promoting peace. The resources spent on fighting terrorists in the Middle East will significantly reduce if the US leadership manages to get the Middle East leaders to solve the problems facing their countries. Further, the global challenges such as climate change would impact on America just like they would impact on the other countries, and therefore it is not prudent for the US to withdraw from her international obligations. The author, however, needs to provide a framework through which America can balance her international obligations and her domestic interests to avoid overburdening herself.

Paper Outline

1. The subject matter

The issue discussed in the article

Background of the issue

Checks whether it provides the context of California

2. Thesis statementment

Analysis of whether the thesis makes sense

The principles that the articles refers to

3. Paper body

The connection between the claims and the five principles of politics

The evidence for each claim

4. Conclusion

The reasonability of the article

Information that requires further research


Nabers, D. (2016). Globalization, the Post-Cold War Era, and Visions of US Leadership. In The      Bush Leadership, the Power of Ideas, and the War on Terror (pp. 31-48). Routledge.

Obama, B. (2007). Renewing American leadership. Foreign Affairs, 2-16.

Walmsley, T. (2017). Supply chains and tariff rates: the impact of reversing NAFTA. In 25th at             the 25th Conference of the International School of IO Analysis, Atlantic City, NJ, June (pp. 19-23).

Zhang, H. B., Dai, H. C., Lai, H. X., " Wang, W. T. (2017). US withdrawal from the Paris    Agreement: Reasons, impacts, and China's response. Advances in Climate Change            Research, 8(4), 220-225.

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