Chris Brose, writing for Foreign Policy:

... there will be little change on issues of global grand strategy. A refrain from the campaign was rebuilding damaged ties with America’s allies. But those ties have largely been rebuilt alreadyin Asia, Europe, and Latin America. Obama can certainly improve these relations further, especially with real action on climate change. But another challenge may be managing the bubbles of overinflated expectations for his presidency that will soon begin bursting in allied capitals.

Bush will also bequeath to Obama a realistic strategy for managing the rise of great powers. By pushing China, India, Japan, Brazil, and others to be responsible stakeholders in the international order, the Bush administration showed that “the rise of the rest” need not be synonymous with America’s decline. In fact, it might actually enhance U.S. influence.

Brose is pushing it (with the exception of India, I'd say, where the Bushies do deserve some props). The truth is, however, that second term Bush, outside the Middle East, did moderate somewhat toward more traditional realism, and this makes the transition to Obama less traumatizing. Alas, saying "outside the Middle East," makes the statement more than a little misleading; and the stench of Gitmo, withdrawal from Geneva, and the carnage in Iraq made realist retrenchment elsewhere pretty much unavoidable.

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