Obama's Daunting International Agenda

Journalist David E. Sanger's new book outlines the huge international security challenges facing the new administration.

Gary J. Bass '92, Ph.D. '98, associate professor of politics and international affairs at Princeton, calls The Inheritance, by David E. Sanger '82, chief Washington correspondent for the New York Times, a "withering indictment" of President George W. Bush's foreign policy, which, Sanger writes, "has left us less admired by our allies, less feared by our enemies and less capable of convincing the rest of the world that our economic and political model is worthy of emulation." Bass's review appears in the Times today.

Sanger, Bass writes, "drops the strict detachment of a daily reporter and lets rip.…These unvarnished conclusions by Mr. Sanger will of course confirm the perfidy that Karl Rove and Bill O’Reilly presume lies in the black hearts of Times reporters. But Mr. Sanger’s criticism, the product of extraordinarily diligent reporting, is too hawkish to be easily dismissed by conservatives. He believes in putting brute military power behind diplomacy, wants to win the war in Afghanistan and hates the thought of a nuclear-armed Iran and North Korea." Hence the book's subtitle: The World Obama Confronts and the Challenges to American Power.

Parts of Sanger's reporting for the book have also appeared in the newspaper. His page-one story on covert efforts to hinder Iran's efforts to develop nuclear weapons--after the United States rejected Israel's request for assistance in bombing nuclear facilities there--was published on Sunday, January 11. And that day's New York Times Magazine ran an excerpt on the threat of jihadists in Pakistan gaining control of that nation's nuclear arsenal.

Much earlier in his career, during his senior year, Sanger served as the "Undergraduate" columnist for Harvard Magazine.

You might also like

Threats Foreign and Domestic

Joseph Nye discusses geopolitics and Harvard’s challenges.

Harvard’s New Football Coach: A Real Tiger

The magazine’s football correspondent advises fans to deal with it.

The Interim President’s Agenda

Alan Garber on campus speech, academics, and his other Harvard priorities

Most popular

Reviving Neglected Space

Practicing architecture in Myanmar

Painter, Anew

Nell Painter reflects on leaving the ivory tower for art school at age 64.

"A Force on the Ice"

There has been a Moore on the ice for Harvard since 1996, when Mark Moore '00 matriculated. His brothers, Steve '01 and Dominic '03, followed...

More to explore

Photograph of Winthrop Bell 1910

Winthrop Bell

Brief life of a philosopher and spy: 1884-1965

Illustration of people talking to each other with colorful thought bubbles above their heads

Talking about Talking

Fostering healthy disagreement

Vacationing with a Purpose

New England “summer camps” for adults