Brent Scowcroft Center Program Assistant Alex Ward writes for The Diplomat on President Obama’s foreign policy–or the lack thereof:
President Barack Obama’s speech at West Point was many things to many people. Indeed, realists reveled in Obama’s preference to act only when core interests are threatened, and liberals enjoyed the willingness to work multilaterally and, on occasion, via institutions. Naturally, his political allies and foes praised and eschewed his speech, respectively, without giving it much serious thought.
In the end, these short-lived comments won’t mean much. What does matter is where this speech places Obama’s foreign policy in relation to other American presidents. Sadly, his place in the pantheon will not be reserved, simply because Obama failed to detail his own personal “brand” of foreign policy. Instead, he will be remembered for being the president who defined his foreign policy by wholeheartedly opposing or supporting his predecessors’ policies instead of charting his own unique course.