President Obama’s intention to keep the United States out of “perpetual war” has been facing domestic political opposition, especially as the Islamic State has expanded its territory in Iraq and Syria. The United States and its allies have reached a preliminary agreement with Iran over that country’s nuclear program, even as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and congressional Republicans pushed Obama to take a harder line. Obama also began restoring relations with Cuba after more than 50 years of U.S. policy based on economic and diplomatic isolation of the island nation. The president’s responses to foreign policy challenges could be a factor when American voters choose his successor in 2016.

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