What Keeps Obama Up at Night

He's prevailed against al-Qaeda and Gaddafi, but China and Iran pose the next challenge

Illustration by Hieronymus for TIME

A year out from election day, Barack Obama's strongest policy suit is the one that matters least to the public--foreign policy. He hasn't been perfect. His naive attempts to negotiate the Israel-Palestine question have been an embarrassing failure. But he has succeeded at the most important thing, fighting al-Qaeda. In the spring of 2011, he overruled his generals twice--and rightly so: he decided to have SEAL Team 6 go after Osama bin Laden and secure his document stash, rather than bombing the compound from the air; and he decided to begin drawing troops out of Afghanistan. His willingness to use drone...

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