I believe that President Obama is probably handling world events about as well as they can be handled. He seems to have a good feel for American public opinion. And he appreciates the complexity of the global order.
A few writers saw Obama's speech at the General Assembly as an effort to craft an "Obama Doctrine." In fact, it was anything but a new "doctrine." Instead of framing hard fast answers, the President asked tough questions.
President Obama appears ready to declare an end to America's war on radical Islam. Yet the jihadists remain at war with us. In time, we will learn whether the Obama Doctrine puts the United States, and her allies, on the winning side of this epic conflict.
The president's foreign policy has certainly been "smart" from a domestic political point of view. The president has effectively removed foreign policy as a Republican talking point. But in its actual effects overseas, it has been anything but smart.
Huffington-Matalin debate U.S. military policy in Iran, Syria and Afghanistan after a decade of costly failures. Do war whoops resemble pre-Vietnam, pre-Iraq? And did St. Rick jump the shark by being so stridently anti-contraception and college?
It is possible that President Obama is reverting back to a new version of Wilsonian diplomacy in order to let the Arab world sort itself out, instead of directly affecting the outcome with U.S. intervention.
The Ronald Reagan Centennial Banquet on Monday night at Guild Hall was a glorious celebration. And yet, for this American, there was one glaring problem. It seemed so small, so wrong, so characteristic of the Obama Administration.
Hilary Rosen and Kellyanne Conway disagree about how heavy the economic albatross will be politically and whether the GOP fringe will taint its nominee. Did President 'Aiken' just declare victory and come home?
While the Obama doctrine is currently the focal point of a debate taking place among its proponents and critics, the Assad doctrine reveals two possibilities: that the space afforded for the debate is of a military and security nature.
Rather than selling a war as an existential threat to America, American democracy, freedom, the flag, Mom, and apple pie (as pretty much every president has done for decades), Barack Obama's approach is something new: war as a nuisance.
I believe that the declaration of a transformational American doctrine under Obama is still tenable -- even necessary. We can tread water, but we won't continue to lead the world in this century if we cannot state what we are committed to.
Ultimately, foreign policy is a function of national capabilities. Given the limitations of power facing the US economically, militarily and politically, any grand foreign policy "Doctrine" has to wait for better days.