- Beretta leaves Maryland over gun laws, heads for Tennessee
- Neal Boortz defends Hillary Clinton for representing child rapist
- House task force to recommend National Guard on border, faster deportations
- Top federal judge uses pizza to explain complex Obamacare situation
- Obama, Biden overhaul job training programs
- Drought-plagued Californians turn to paint to keep lawns green
- ISIL now forcing Iraqi shopkeepers to veil mannequins in Mosul
- 11 parents of Nigeria’s abducted girls die
- Genetic mapping triggers new hope on schizophrenia
- Turkish P.M. Erdogan won’t speak to Obama, but he’ll take calls from Biden
Obama to outline case for a limited foreign policy
Question of the Day
WASHINGTON (AP) - Confronting critics of his foreign policy, President Barack Obama will soon outline a strategy for his final years in office that aims to avoid overreach as the second of the two wars he inherited comes to a close.
The president will make the case for that seemingly more limited approach during a commencement address Wednesday at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. The speech will come amid growing frustration in the White House with Republicans and other critics who contend that Obama has weakened America’s standing around the world and faltered on problems across the Middle East and in Russia, China and elsewhere.
Ben Rhodes, Obama’s deputy national security adviser, said the president had not yet finalized his decision and no announcement was expected while he is in Afghanistan. Rhodes spoke with reporters accompanying Obama on a surprise visit to U.S. troops serving in the closing months of the Afghanistan war.
Criticism over Obama has only mounted over the past year following Obama’s decision to pull back a military strike in Syria and his inability to stop Russia from annexing territory from Ukraine. A White House official said Obama would specifically address both situations, as well as the status of ongoing nuclear negotiations with Iran.
The president is also expected to discuss how he views shifts in the counterterrorism threat from al-Qaida and other groups, according to the official, who insisted on anonymity to preview the president’s speech.
Obama came into office vowing to end the lengthy American-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and seeking to keep a war-weary nation out of unnecessary conflicts. The war in Iraq ended in the closing days of 2011 and the Afghan conflict will formally conclude later this year, though the White House is seeking to keep a smaller contingent of U.S. troops behind to train Afghan forces and conduct counterterrorism missions.
While Obama has followed through on his pledge to end America’s wars, some foreign policy analysts argue that he has overcorrected, and his aversion to military action makes it harder for the U.S. to levy credible threats that force international foes to change their behavior.
“In a world where no one will lead except America, he has abdicated and surrendered much of the leadership,” said Aaron David Miller, a Middle East adviser to Republican and Democratic administrations.
The White House official said Obama will argue that the U.S. remains the only nation capable of galvanizing action and will make the case that American power needs to be part of a sustainable international system. He will argue that his foreign policy philosophy is not isolationist, but rather “interventionist and internationalist,” according to the official.
The president is expected to expand on remarks he made last month at a news conference in the Philippines, when the extent of his frustration with his critics boiled over. He specifically targeted those who are quick to call for U.S. military action, arguing that they had failed to learn the lessons of the Iraq war.
“Why is it that everybody is so eager to use military force after we’ve just gone through a decade of war at enormous costs to our troops and to our budget?” he said. “And what is it exactly that these critics think would have been accomplished?”
Yet Obama also cast his approach as one that “avoids errors” by being more limited in scope.
“You hit singles, you hit doubles,” he said. “Every once in a while we may be able to hit a home run. “
TWT Video Picks
The president could pay the full price for ignoring Congress
- IRS seeks help destroying another 3,200 computer hard drives
- D.C. appeals panel deals big blow to Obamacare subsidies
- Beretta moving to Tennessee over Maryland gun laws
- Gen. James Amos, Marine Corps commandant, slams Obama's handling of Iraq
- 'Straight White Guy Festival' supposedly set for Ohio park
- LYONS: Small-arms treaty, big Second Amendment threat
- Pentagon team dispatched to Ukraine amid crisis with Russia
- Obama family set to buy $4.25M desert home in California: report
- PRUDEN: A deadly enemy within exacerbating immigration crisis
- DEACE: How to go from civil rights icon to bigot in one quote
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq