When Howard Dean, a candidate for the Democratic nomination in the 2004 presidential election, passed through London in February he quipped: ‘I just want to say how much I like talking in Europe. I know everyone in Europe believes that the Americans are always acting without thinking, and it’s true, so it’s wonderful to come to a place where they think without acting.’
But do US presidents act without thinking? And what do they really think of their European and other allies? The answers can be found in a long article in The Atlantic magazine by Jeffrey Goldberg based on a series of interviews with a reflective Barack Obama as he approaches the end of his second term.
Here is a summary of key elements of Obama’s thinking on foreign policy drawn from Goldberg’s interviews: