Open Thread: Obama's Incoherent Foreign Policy

The Washington Examiner has a great editorial out today noting the cognitive dissonance that characterizes President Obama's foreign policy. On the one hand, it seeks to make the United States the protector of innocents and champion of freedom fighters, but on the other, it neglects, even undercuts, America's role as the world's dominant military force and leader in global affairs. Check out an excerpt from the editorial below the break.

Teddy Roosevelt famously talked softly but carried a big stick. President Obama does the opposite: He talks big but carries a stick that is steadily getting softer. And sometimes he doesn't say or do anything at all, which is the worst possible situation. Consider Obama's declaration that Libya's Moammar Gadhafi "must go." But after making a clear statement of aggressive intent, Obama refused to apply sufficient U.S. military power to make the dictator's departure a reality...

But we cannot separate Obama's conduct in these two crises from the overall context of American military capabilities. Our forces are involved in an escalating conflict in Afghanistan and remain significantly committed in Iraq. Plus, Obama has already killed or sharply cut back development and deployment of critically needed new weapons such as the F-22 stealth fighter, and promises to reduce our military forces even more if he is elected to a second term. That's the fundamental incoherence at the heart of Obama's foreign policy: Only a superpower can declare that a dictator like Gadhafi must be ousted, then make it stick. To do that, however, the superpower must possess unchallenged military capabilities; otherwise, it invites scorn from U.S. allies and boldness from our enemies. Obama must decide which stick he will carry for America.

Did the Examiner get this one right, or do you think Obama is more committed to one role over the other? Let us know in the comments.

Open Thread

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