Foreign Policy Blogs

From Europe: A Historical Take on Change

José Maria Peredo Pombo, a professor of International Relations at the European University in Madrid, penned an opinion piece about Senator Obama in the online journal “Forum For A Safe Democracy.” In the piece titled “The Multipolar World of Barack Obama,” Pombo gives a historical take on past American Presidents who have tried to affect change:

“To change America and the world at the same time has been a common dream of presidents of the United States, but few have achieved it.

Roosevelt caught American society when it fell into the depression of the 1930's, but he did not have the ability to contain the spread of totalitarianism in Europe. Truman and Eisenhower launched the domestic finance machine and the international economy, but failed to stop the arms race that built up the nuclear arsenals of both the Americans and the communists and led to nuclear proliferation in China, France, and Great Britain. Johnson built the Great Society of the "60's based on civil rights, but built and maintained an aggressive and uncontrolled foreign policy in Vietnam and the Far East.”

As for the future, Pombo advises:

“Obama should understand that one cannot build a strong and comprehensive foreign policy without the support of the many countries and alliances that would contribute to the regaining of multilateralism, an issue on which the senator has not been very vocal….”



Melinda Brouwer

Melinda Brower holds a Masters degree in Global Politics from the London School of Economics and Political Science. She received her bachelor's degree in Political Science and Spanish at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She received a graduate diploma in International Relations from the University of Chile during her tenure as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar. She has worked on Capitol Hill, at the State Department, for Foreign Policy magazine and the American Academy of Diplomacy. She presently works for an internationally focused non-profit research organization in Washington, DC.