Obama’s strategy is?

He may have all that power at his fingertips, he still fails to use it. Nobody in his (or her) right mind would suggest the US go to war over the Crimea or Ukraine with Russia. That Obama doesn’t either demonstrates nothing.

Obama’s continuing failure in Syria is a big setback for American standing. It showed that you can push this presidency around with impunity. Assad and his Iranian allies no longer fear the US, they are now slowly but steadily mopping up the rebels. The US seems to have stopped caring. On various places on this planet a similar game is being played versus the US with zero sum doctrines on a westphalian board. While such moves seem futile as they ignore technological and social developments, they still pose a profound risk to the international (postwar) order that the US presides over. In most cases the US fails to formulate a proper response and simply lets things take their course. That is not a strategy, it is the absence of one.

 

Obama may have all that power at his fingertips, but they don’t seem to give him much leverage. Underpinning foreign policy ought to be a strategy that is based on a solid assessment of assets that can be brought to bear upon specific situations. The assets are more solid than ever but the strategy to put them to use is nowhere in sight.

Edward do give an example of where his presidency is making a difference internationally? The only positive  strategic risk appetite we’ve seen recently is French but the Elysee cannot take over from the White House.