World Euphoric, a Bit Worried About Obama

Positive outlook on US could heighten tension abroad
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Feb 19, 2009 1:24 PM CST
In this July 24, 2008 file photo, then-presidential candidate Barack Obama waves as he arrives at the Victory Column in Berlin.    (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
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(Newser) – At recent international gatherings in Munich and Doha, world leaders were “mildly euphoric” about the Obama administration, writes Joe Klein in Time. Muslim leaders called for support for the new president, while Joe Biden’s promises to “listen” and “consult” left a “stunned silence.” But such positivity means Europe is “out of excuses” not to support the US with troops—and that could spark an international divide.

Among NATO allies, “the split between countries whose troops actually fight in Afghanistan and those whose troops do not” is “a breach to watch, one that could cripple the alliance,” Klein writes. Meanwhile, a necessary “obsession with process” in the White House means Obama’s foreign policy will move slowly, and its nuances won’t “please anyone overmuch.”