The New York Times Quotes FPI Board Member Robert Kagan on President Obama's West Point Speech

In "Rebutting Critics, Obama Seeks Higher Bar for Military Action," The New York Times' reporter Peter Baker writes:

As President Obama listens to assessments of his foreign policy these days, he grows deeply frustrated. Syria? Ukraine? Afghanistan? What more do his critics want him to do? Get into another war? Keep fighting one that has already become America’s longest?

After more than five years in office, Mr. Obama has become increasingly convinced that while the United States must play a vital role beyond its borders, it should avoid getting dragged into the quicksand of international crises that have trapped some of his predecessors. It is time for an end to what he called “a long season of war.”....

At times during his Wednesday speech, Mr. Obama seemed to be responding directly to one critic, Robert Kagan, whose long article in The New Republic, promoted on the cover with the headline “Superpowers Don’t Get to Retire,” argued against a retreat from America’s post-World War II leadership....

Reached by telephone on Wednesday, Mr. Kagan said Mr. Obama’s “ultimate safeguard” line was “a pretty darn fair and accurate representation of what my essay is saying.” And he said the president’s articulation of his own view was “about the clearest statement of this position that Obama’s ever made.”

Mr. Kagan said this was “a more narrow definition of our national interest than the post-World War II tradition” and added that he thought Mr. Obama had come to the conclusion that it fits the public mood. “He’s been in a kind of dialogue with the American people,” Mr. Kagan said, “and I think he’s concluded that they would be happy if he never used force.”

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