The World in 2:00 – January 13, 2016

The World in 2:00 – January 13, 2016

By Luke Vargas   

President Obama summarizes his foreign policy doctrine: smart, patient and engaged.

From U.N. headquarters in New York, this is your “World in 2:00.” I’m your host Luke Vargas for Talk Media News.


As we’ve done in years past, let’s break down some of President Obama’s central foreign policy statements from his final State of the Union address.

More than 2,800 words into his speech, Obama shifted to foreign policy issues, and put America into a global context.

“When it comes to every important international issue, people of the world do not look to Beijing or Moscow to lead. They call us.”

This was no 2010 State of the Union, filled with promises of overseas troop pullbacks or new policy agendas. Instead, the President defended America’s continuing exceptionalism, the country’s ability to muster global energy to tackle global problems.

He cited disease:

“That’s how we stopped the spread of Ebola in West Africa.

And global security threats:

“As we speak, Iran has rolled back its nuclear program, shipped out its uranium stockpile, and the world has avoided another war.”

Part of that exceptionalism, Obama argued, involves not trumping foreign threats for political reasons:

“We don’t need to build them up to show that we’re serious, and we sure don’t need to push away vital allies in this fight by echoing the lie that ISIL is somehow representative of one of the world’s largest religions.”

To fight the Islamic State, Obama said Congress should authorize the use of military force, but not “take over and rebuild every country that falls into crisis.”

More broadly, Obama suggested a “[smart]”, “patient and disciplined” approach to foreign policy challenges, in which “we will mobilize the world to work with us, and make sure other countries pull their own weight.”

Time will tell if that’s a clear enough approach to call the “Obama Doctrine”


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