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Appeared in: Volume 9, Number 5
Published on: April 20, 2014
America Self-Contained? A Symposium
Obama’s Bumpy Road

Obama will need the courage of his convictions if he is to have a lasting legacy as a foreign policy strategist.

William A. Galston is Ezra K. Zilkha Chair and senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution.
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  • Pete

    ” …and 52 percent—the most since survey research began—agree with the proposition that “the U.S. should mind its own business internationally and let other countries get along the best they can on their own.”

    That’s the ticket. It is something all the neo-cons who scream for action on the Ukraine or the Baltic states should understand.

    And to repeat — “let other countries get along as best as they can” without having America ready to fight their wars for them or providing them with a cushy security blanket under which they can construct their welfare states (Europe) and from which they can lecture America on how to defend Western interests.

    • Corlyss

      “That’s the ticket. It is something all the neo-cons who scream for action on the Ukraine or the Baltic states should understand.”

      The American public is wise not to follow someone who has no idea what he’s doing, where he’s going, or how to get there. I wouldn’t follow Obama into the next room. But it is a profoundly naïve and potentially fatal error to mistake their opinion with this nitwit in charge for a permanent position, or one that would not change next week if we had a real leader who had a strategic vision for American foreign policy in which we were actually pursuing our national interest. As a side note, in view of the fact that so few Americans pay meaningful attention to foreign affairs, it would be an equally naïve and potentially fatal error to assume from polls results that they know jack about the subject. They don’t. They scarcely know anything useful about subjects that most directly affect them, like the economy. All they know is they don’t like failure, no matter who produced the failure. Lack of strategic vision has plagued administrations since 1989, so much of what has been done since then looks a lot like failure.

  • Corlyss

    “if he is to have a lasting legacy as a foreign policy strategist.”
    He already has a lasting legacy in foreign policy, the way Carter has a lasting legacy. I suppose we can look forward to decades of adoring useful idiots funding his self-congratulatory tours and appearances, just like we have had with Carter.

  • gracepmc

    Grand tours, lofty speeches, selfies and hashtags.

  • diderot à la campagne

    I sense again a classical bias in this author´s way of presenting the so called statistics. He doesn´t openly say that he is worry for the fate of Israel if the US are moving away. The entanglement of the US in the Mideast is a fact and I understand Obama why this area means just trouble and there is no hope of a real gain, whether symbolic or economic in this region.
    The saoudis and the Israelis should start peace negotiations with Iran themselves, they are the neighbors involved. In the end, they are the only responsible for what is going on over there, definitely not Obama.

  • Ghosts of Benghazi

    “Obama will need the courage of his convictions if he is to have a lasting legacy as a foreign policy strategist.”

    Cannot stop hysterically laughing at this ludicrous snippet within the article. His ‘convictions’ are destroying America; with his ego, why not just go for destroying the world? That’s right, he is!

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