President Obama’s West Point foreign policy speech earned the president few new friends. The effort was largely directionless and lacking in foundation. Given that unpleasant introduction, here is Cato Institute’s Director of Foreign Policy Studies Chris Preble’s abridged take.
‘It was pretty weak tea, but not objectionable. There was more good than bad. I knocked him for talking about burden sharing with allies without really being serious about it.”
“The pledge to support the Syrian opposition is too little, too late. And we shouldn’t be supporting them in the first place. There isn’t a compelling national interest. But at least he is not talking about the US military getting involved directly.”
“There is nothing that he could have said that would have satisfied the neocons. But they might have liked it if he talked about being more interventionist, and then didn’t follow up.”
Chris Preble is the author of the widely acclaimed The Power Problem—How American Military Dominance Makes Us Less Safe, Less Prosperous, and Less Free. I have written a mini series on Mr. Preble’s book, which you can read here: Part I, Part II, Part III . One of my favorite foreign policy analysts, Andrew J. Bacevich, has said about The Power Problem: “Here is a book that Dwight D. Eisenhower—the general and the president—would have greatly admired.”