Obama on power

From the excellent [“Obama Doctrine” profile in the New Yorker](http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/04/the-obama-doctrine/471525/):

> Real power means you can get what you want without having to exert violence. – Barack Obama


> Obama has come to a number of dovetailing conclusions about the world, and about America’s role in it. The first is that the Middle East is no longer terribly important to American interests. The second is that even if the Middle East were surpassingly important, there would still be little an American president could do to make it a better place. The third is that the innate American desire to fix the sorts of problems that manifest themselves most drastically in the Middle East inevitably leads to warfare, to the deaths of U.S. soldiers, and to the eventual hemorrhaging of U.S. credibility and power. The fourth is that the world cannot afford to see the diminishment of U.S. power.

Perhaps [the early Nobel award](http://bob.ryskamp.org/brain/?p=3513) had an impact on his policy after all?