Fiction and Foreign Policy

To the president, foreign policy isn’t just about safeguarding the country. It’s also, as the Iran deal makes clear, about fashioning a creative personal narrative of the effort.

Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes and President Barack Obama edit a speech on Air Force One in 2013. Official White House photo by Pete Souza.

Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes and President Barack Obama edit a speech on Air Force One in 2013. Official White House photo by Pete Souza.

Observation
May 19 2015
About the author

Michael Doran, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and the author of Ike’s Gamble: America’s Rise to Dominance in the Middle East (2016), is a former deputy assistant secretary of defense and a former senior director of the National Security Council. He tweets @doranimated.


In his memoirs, Duty, former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates tells a story that could only have occurred in the Obama White House. In February 2011, as crowds occupying Tahrir Square in Cairo demanded the ouster of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, a debate swirled over the proper American response: should the U.S. force Mubarak to abdicate, or support his plan to manage an orderly transition of power over the next seven months?

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More about: Barack Obama, Iran nuclear program, Politics & Current Affairs