U.S. President Barack Obama pauses while speaking in the White House Press Briefing Room in Washington, June 8, 2012. REUTERS/Larry Downing
Stephen Collinson, CNN: Obama suffers the slings and arrows of a restive world
(CNN)President Barack Obama bade farewell to G20 leaders in Hangzhou, China, on Monday by reminding them they're living in "turbulent" times -- and he wasn't kidding.
His valedictory Asia tour, which moved on to Laos later in the day, is unfolding amid diplomatic slights and great power rivalries that reflect the unstable nature of the world Obama will bequeath to his successor in January.
The controversies reflect the way international politics is now a stew of many competing, rising or resurgent powers that see fewer reasons to simply fall into line behind the United States than was the case following World War II and the Cold War. And it may suggest that foreign leaders are now just as interested in who will sit in the Oval Office next as they are in Obama as he heads for the exit.
Obama is not only confronting regimes in Russia, China and North Korea that are at times openly hostile to Washington -- or at least willing to make clear they don't want to play by its rules -- but over the long weekend, he got headaches from allies as well, notably Turkey and the Philippines.
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WNU Editor: This has not been a good week for the U.S. President on the international stage .... and now his trade pacts are unravelling .... In One Week, Obama’s Ambitious Trade Pacts Are Coming Apart (Patrick Smith, Fiscal Times). But his biggest problem from now to the end of his term is that he is a lame duck .... and the leaders of the world know that.