Atlantic Council VP and Director of the Brent Scowcroft Center Barry Pavel speaks with the Los Angeles Times about President Obama’s foreign policy struggles ahead of his commencement address at West Point:
White House officials and the president often fend off critics by suggesting that their prescriptions would start a new war.
For some, that argument has been wearing thin, particularly as the Syrian civil war rages on while the U.S. seems locked at a standstill.
“They define themselves in contrast to their predecessors and the enormous sins of commission there,” said Barry Pavel, a former advisor to Obama who is now vice president of the Atlantic Council. “I think they’ve swung way too far in the direction of sins of omission.”
Americans may be war-weary, but a president’s job is to do the unpopular and difficult, Pavel said. “The world is not going to wait for us to recover,” Pavel said. “As they say, sometimes the enemy gets a vote here.”