My column in the The Cresset reflects on the reasons for failed US foreign policy over two administrations.
“President Obama, speaking recently to the press, dismissed all criticism of his foreign policy as “half baked” “mumbo jumbo.” This strong declamation, coming from a President many think weak and indecisive, hardly persuaded the critics, who find Obama’s handling of international affairs rather confusing. From the Arab Spring, to Ukraine, to Syria and ISIS, Obama’s response to the string of global crises punctuating his second term has been, at best, determinedly tentative. Perhaps his reluctance to act originates in an impulse to overcorrect for the errors of his predecessor. If President Bush relied too exclusively on force to pursue unrealistic political goals, President Obama dreams unrealistically about the effectiveness of international law and institutions so as not to deploy force. Ironically, the Bush and Obama approaches to foreign policy, while diametrically opposed, have worked together to weaken international order and jeopardize global peace and security. That both approaches have failed suggests the need for a major refraction of America’s global vision.”