President Barack Obama's foreign policy has been a mixture of multilateralism and bold action. His record forms the basis of his foreign policy platform in the 2012 presidential election.
Obama has elevated the importance of multilateralism in American foreign policy. Multilateralism is simply moving in policy directions with the assent and cooperation of other nations. Multilateralism is directly counter to unilateralism, or taking policy actions alone. Obama's predecessor, George W. Bush, unilaterally took the United States out of the Kyoto Protocols, and threatened unilateral action if no coalition formed behind the U.S. in the War on Terror.
Obama has most famously acted multilaterally in the NATO intervention during the Libyan civil war of 2011. Obama committed U.S. air and naval forces to secure a no-fly zone over Libya to prevent Muammar Qaddafi's forces from massacring Libyan rebels. After the no-fly zone was secure, Obama let other NATO nations take the lead in supporting rebels.
Republicans has criticized Obama for "leading from behind." Nevertheless, the multilateral strategy worked: Libyan rebels deposed -- then killed -- Qaddafi, and the U.S. was able to support them while avoiding immersion in another war and keeping its combatants relatively safe.