Think of Obama as a Foreign-Policy Version of Warren Buffett
In his Aug. 1 column, “A U.S. retreat that feeds on itself,” Fred Hiatt rehearsed many of the familiar critiques of President Obama’s foreign policy, suggesting that if only the United States had kept substantial troops in Iraq, put forces into post-Gaddafi Libya, bombed Syria after it used chemical weapons and focused a little less on “nation-building at home,” the United States — and the world — would be better off.
The idea that the United States has retreated defies reality. Today the United States is more engaged, in more places and in more ways, than it was eight years ago. In fact, on the issues that matter most — how and where the country uses military force, how it approaches its enemies and works with its partners, and how it should conceive of its power and exert its leadership — Obama’s mark will be enduring and largely positive. Instead of allowing the consensus for the United States’ global leadership to fray, the president has worked to strengthen and sustain it.