May 19, 2010

America’s Extended Hand: Assessing the Obama Administration’s Global Engagement Strategy

Engagement is a guiding principle of President Obama’s foreign policy. While the Obama administration has achieved its initial objective of “re-starting” America’s relationship with the world, it has struggled to capitalize on its early promise and so far has failed to make lasting reforms necessary to ensure public engagement strategies further key national security objectives.

This reportanalyzes the public engagement dimension of three key foreign policy areas – relations between the United States and the Muslim world, combating violent extremism and promoting democracy and human rights – and four countries of strategic importance, including Iran, China, Afghanistan and Pakistan. By focusing on these salient aspects of foreign policy, the authors – CNAS Vice President and Director of Studies Kristin Lord and Non-Resident Senior Fellow Marc Lynch – identify strengths and weaknesses of the administration’s efforts to date, and glean early lessons learned to ensure the administration's foreign policy goals are met.


  • Kristin M. Lord

  • Marc Lynch