It is, of course, too early to pronounce definitively on the foreign policy legacy that will be attached to the Obama presidency, for at least two reasons. 1 The first is that, at the time of writing, 2 Obama has one year left of his second term in office, and recent events in Paris are a timely reminder of the capacity of unforeseen developments to alter the shape and direction of (foreign) policy. It remains to be seen what longer-term effects the Paris attacks have (if any), and whether or not they result in a fundamental shift in US foreign policy with regard to Syria, Iraq and the ‘Islamic State’ (IS). It is, however, at least possible that such a shift (or others) are possible in the final months of Obama’s time in office. A second reason for being cautious about definitive conclusions on Obama’s legacy, perhaps even upon his leaving office, is that history often alters its judgements on presidential performance. Comparing the differences in the ways Woodrow Wilson and Teddy Roosevelt were perceived upon their departures (the former seen as a failure; the latter a success) with their influence and standing years later, Nye (2013: 6) notes that ‘Even careful judgements change over time. . . . History does not produce final verdicts because each age reinterprets the past in the light of its own interests and preoccupations’.