The Nobel Committee indicated its decision was based on the impact Obama’s presidency has had on world diplomacy in just a few short months. The judges singled out the nuclear issue as a prime example.
In their statement they said: “The committee has attached special importance to Obama’s vision and work for a world without nuclear weapons. Only very rarely has a person, to the same extent as Obama, captured world attention and given his people hope for a better future.”
US plans for a missile shield in Europe had severely strained relations with Russia. From early in his presidency Obama signalled that was something he wanted to set right.
But his aim to return the world community to the centre of international peacemaking was perhaps the biggest factor for the Nobel panel. It was a total reversal of the policy pursued by his predecessor.
Obama has made stability in Afghanistan his top foreign policy objective. Critics say ahead of the unveiling of the new US strategy in Afghanistan, the Nobel committee’s decision today seems a little premature.