In a broad defense of his foreign policy, President Barack Obama declared that the U.S. remains the world’s most indispensable nation, even after a “long season of war,” but argued for restraint before embarking on more military adventures.
Obama used his commencement speech at the U.S. Military Academy on May 28, in West Point, N.Y., to outline a realistic and restrained second-term foreign policy.
Obama’s speech came one day after the White House’s announcement that 9,800 U.S. troops will remain in Afghanistan beyond this year, pending approval of a security agreement with the Afghan government. The number of troops will be reduced by half at the end of 2015, and then to a normal Embassy presence by the end of 2016.
Obama’s speech also comes after unfair criticism from those who contend that the president’s approach to global problems has been too cautious. Some critics have even called the president’s foreign policy weak.
The president’s critics are interventionists who pushed for the war in Iraq on the false idea that the county had weapons of mass destruction. They were wrong then and they are wrong now to push for a military response to Syria’s civil war and a more aggressive response to Russia over the Ukraine.