Obama on the World Stage: What Power Means

Obama needs to throw his weight around on the world stage — but be ready when things don't go his way

Newsha Tavakolian / Polaris

"Power is getting people or groups to do something they don't want to do," writes Leslie H. Gelb, former president of the Council on Foreign Relations, in his new book, Power Rules. It seems an aggressively simplistic thought for a member of the foreign policy priesthood. But Gelb doesn't define power merely as the use or threat of force. (In fact, he argues, wars usually occur when the creative use of power has failed.) Power is a combination of factors — military, diplomatic, economic, moral — that give a country the ability to make its way in the world. Gelb believes...

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