Foreign policy of the Barack Obama administration
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After one of the most controversial and divisive periods in the history of American foreign policy under President George W. Bush, the Obama administration was expected to make decisive changes for the better in the style, substance, and results of US relations with the wider world.
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A History of President Obama’s 8 Years in Office
Find in this title Show Hide Page Numbers. On This Page. Copy to Clipboard. Robert S. Looks like you do not have access to this content. PM Julia Gillard has an excellent relationship with President Obama, and she does not have to spend time waiting for and then developing a relationship with a new president.
Obama does not intend to make any drastic changes to his policy settings. The high value placed on the alliance with Australia will continue. The advantages — of support, intelligence and equipment as well as political access — will persist, but so will the downsides. Australia will continue to have to manage the knock-on effects of being so closely linked to the US.
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This includes the risk of being drawn into conflicts that could otherwise have been avoided, or fuelling the lingering perception that Australia is a reluctant Asian power. American foreign policy will continue to be shaped by fiscal austerity. The alliance has been an astonishingly good deal for Australia for a very long time and it should come as no surprise that, when faced with grim economic times at home, the US asks its allies to carry a greater burden.
Given how well Australia has fared in recent years, and how loudly the government has crowed about it, Australia must expect that Washington will seek a greater contribution to the alliance in coming years. Australia is tied to the US in this bigger contest and managing the consequences of this will be a pre-eminent challenge for Australian diplomacy.
If he fails then the implications for Australia and the world will be immense. This would destabilise the region and put even greater pressure on Australia to increase its defence spending. The problem is that the campaign further revealed the huge divisions within the US that created the political gridlock behind the budget problems.
Indeed, Romney may have been better placed to deal with the Republican-dominated House. The cliff remains are very real prospect. America has retained the services of President Obama.