For many, Obama's presidency will be defined by its accomplishments. Taking out Osama bin Laden, disengaging from fights in the Middle East that America cannot win, defusing the threat of a nuclear Iran, and refocusing our attention and resources to Asia, where our greatest opportunities and biggest long-term challenges are located. But for others, it has been marked by missteps and retreat-pulling back where action and leadership was needed, and presiding over policies that strengthened our adversaries and disheartened our friends. Has Obama's foreign policy been a success?
Derek Chollet served in senior positions during the Obama administration at the White House, State Department, and Pentagon, most recently as the U.S. assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs. He is currently a counselor and senior advisor at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, an adjunct senior research scholar at Columbia University’s Institute of War and Peace Studies, and a regular contributor to Defense One and many other publications. His books include The Long Game: How Obama Defied Washington and Redefined America’s Role in the World, America Between Wars: From 11/9 to 9/11, coauthored with James Goldgeier, and The Unquiet American: Richard Holbrooke in the World, coedited with Samantha Power. He lives in Washington, D.C., with his family.
Eliot A. Cohen
Eliot A. Cohen is the Robert E. Osgood Professor of Strategic Studies at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at the Johns Hopkins University. Cohen is the Director of the Strategic Studies Program at SAIS and has specialized in the Middle East, Persian Gulf, Iraq, arms control, and NATO. He is a member of the Project for the New American Century and "is one of the few teachers in the American academy to treat military history as a serious field" according to International Law scholar Ruth Wedgwood. He served as Counselor to the United States Department of State under Secretary Condoleezza Rice from 2007 to 2009.
Kristen Silverberg served as U.S. ambassador to the European Union from 2008 to 2009 and as assistant secretary of state for international organization affairs from 2005 to 2008. Prior to her time at the State Department, she held a number of senior positions at the White House, including deputy assistant to the president and advisor to the chief of staff. She served in 2003 in Baghdad, Iraq for which she received the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service. Silverberg formerly practiced law at Williams and Connolly, LLP, and served as a law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and Judge David Sentelle of the U.S. Court of Appeals. Silverberg serves on the Board of Directors of Vorbeck Materials and the Advisory Board of Beacon Global Strategies.
Vikram J. Singh is the vice president for national security and international policy at American Progress. Previously, he served as the deputy assistant secretary of defense for South and Southeast Asia at the Pentagon, where he advised senior leadership on all policy matters pertaining to development and implementation of defense strategies and plans for the region. Until November 2011, Singh was the deputy special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan at the U.S. Department of State. He has also served in the U.S. Department of Defense as a senior advisor on Afghanistan and Pakistan, representing the department in National Security Council policy reviews of the region and the war in Afghanistan, and as a senior advisor responsible for the department's post-2014 strategic approach to South and Central Asia.