President Obama laid out a defense of his reactionary, retreating foreign policy during his State of the Union address Jan. 20.
"My first duty as Commander-in-Chief is to defend the United States of America," he said. "In doing so–in doing so, the question is not whether America leads in the world, but how. When we make rash decisions, reacting to the headlines instead of using our heads; when the first response to a challenge is to send in our military–then we risk getting drawn into unnecessary conflicts, and neglect the broader strategy we need for a safer, more prosperous world. That’s what our enemies want us to do.
"I believe in a smarter kind of American leadership. We lead best when we combine military power with strong diplomacy; when we leverage our power with coalition building; when we don’t let our fears blind us to the opportunities that this new century presents. That’s exactly what we’re doing right now. And around the globe, it is making a difference."
Syrian rebels are fighting a ruinous war against the regime of Bashar al-Assad, a cruel dictator who has used chemical weapons against his own people with no repercussions for crossing Obama's vanishing "red line." The rebels have been left twisting in the wind by the administration.
Since Obama withdrew U.S. troops from Iraq before trying to tell everyone it wasn't his idea, the country has collapsed into chaos. The Islamic State, a viciously evil terrorist group Obama dismissed as a "JV team" only a year ago, captured Mosul and has terrorized the region with beheadings, executions and sharia law. Radical Islam is, quite simply, on the rise. Soon, Obama appears ready to repeat his mistakes in Iraq by leaving Afghanistan too early as well.
In Ukraine, a sovereign people are trying to fight off Russian-aided separatists in a conflict that has claimed more than 5,000 lives, and the U.S. won't send defensive weapons to aid Ukrainians as they attempt to deal a devastating blow to the aggressive Vladimir Putin.
"It is making a difference," Obama said of his foreign policy approach. And he's right–key regions around the world are on the brink of ruin as the U.S. continues to retreat under his watch.