David Rothkopf makes the case:
We are not only winding down our wars in the Middle East and shifting our focus to Asia, not just moving away from massive conventional ground wars against terrorist but mastering more surgical drone, intelligence and special forces-driven tactics, not just closing the book on exceptionalist, unilateralist policies and moving to toward multilateralist, rules-based approaches, not just setting aside reckless defense spending and moving toward living within our means, not just ditching the binary "you're with us or you're against us" rhetoric for policies open to more complex realities (as with China, our rival and key partner), but we have also made a pronounced move toward recognizing that the foundations of U.S. national security are also economic and so too are some of our most potent tools.
His colleague David Bosco is skeptical:
There are bits of truth to what Rothkopf says, of course, but there's an awful lot of puffery–and some outright contradiction. Take for example the juxtaposed claims that Obama has abandoned a unilateralist and exceptionalist policy and "mastered more surgical drone, intelligence and special forces-driven tactics." There's a problem here. The vaunted shift toward a targeted killing policy in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen and elsewhere is not being done multilaterally. Quite the contrary. The Obama administration has had little time for the complaints of UN human rights officials, for example, about its targeted killing program. It does not seek Security Council approval for cross-border strikes, including the one that killed Osama bin Laden, even though international law arguably requires that. Very much like previous administrations, the Obama administration talks up multilateral instruments when convenient and mostly ignores them when they're inconvenient.