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Monday, 22 October 2012

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Obama would face second term of turmoil abroad

In a second term, President Barack Obama would face a struggle to put a legacy stamp on a world ever more resistant to US power, as Middle East turmoil rages and emerging states demand their due.

Soon after a second inauguration in January, a fateful moment looms with Iran, with diplomacy aimed at ending its nuclear program either finally getting serious or military action beckoning.

Reverberations from even a limited war with Iran, senior aides confide, would likely consume much of Obama's replenished diplomatic capital, limiting the foreign policy bandwidth he could use elsewhere. Crises like Syria's implosion, the threat from volatile post-Arab Spring societies and territorial tensions in Asia are meanwhile crying out for the presidential attention that has been missing in an election year.

Obama will defend his foreign policy in his final debate with Republican Mitt Romney in Florida on Monday before the too-close-to-call election on November 6.

"The president has kept his word," spokesman Ben LaBolt told AFP.

"He promised to end the war in Iraq in a responsible way, to take the fight to Al-Qaeda, to put us on a path to end the war in Afghanistan and to restore our alliances around the world."

AFP

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