Engagement is a pillar and guiding principle of President Barack Obama’s foreign policy. At the beginning of Obama’s presidency, the United States faced a global public widely angry at America and distrustful of its motives. An unpopular war in Iraq and a controversial war on terror threatened America’s moral authority overseas and divided even America’s allies. Despite substantial reorientation during the Bush administration, this sentiment lingered, providing an all too convenient rallying point for America’s enemies and intractable political obstacles to cooperation with the United States. Damaged credibility constrained American power.
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