Is there an Obama Doctrine? Yes, and no. Of course the President has a first term record. But what it all means is still up for debate. But David Sanger explores some of the contours–and how this week at the UN seems to steer the President in a different direction:
Now, after a remarkable month that began with his planning and then aborting a Tomahawk missile strike against the military facilities of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, Mr. Obama has recommitted himself, he told world leaders on Tuesday, to devoting the rest of his presidency to two high-risk diplomatic initiatives: finding a negotiated end to the Iran confrontation, and creating a separate state for the Palestinians that Israel can live with, without fear.
The foreign policy deep thinker Walter Russell Meade critiques this strategy as it relates to the Middle East:
With the advantages of hindsight, it appears that the White House made five big miscalculations about the Middle East. It misread the political maturity and capability of the Islamist groups it supported; it misread the political situation in Egypt; it misread the impact of its strategy on relations with America’s two most important regional allies (Israel and Saudi Arabia); it failed to grasp the new dynamics of terrorist movements in the region; and it underestimated the costs of inaction in Syria.