During his commencement speech at West Point on Wednesday, President Obama, unveiled his foreign policy vision. According to Max Fisher of Vox, “…Obama articulated a unified, tightly focused vision of America’s role in the world. And while it’s not a vision that will thrill many foreign policy hands, including perhaps some of those in his administration, it is the clearest Obama foreign policy doctrine he’s made in years: no war, no militarism, no adventurism.” Fisher declares Obama’s policy “the most anti-war foreign policy in decades” and possibly “the most dovish foreign policy” since President Eisenhower, with the possible exception of Jimmy Carter’s Notre Dame Speech in 1977.
The President argued repeatedly that the US must cut down on military force as a foreign policy too. According to the President the US should not use military force, “except when absolutely necessary.”
The President went on to explain several major policy changes which would be taking place. Here’s the breakdown:
Syria was the major policy announcement. The US will be donating further resources to Syria’s neighbors. This is “…squarely in line with his articulation of US foreign policy: no military involvement, deal with conflicts indirectly, focus on core American interests” (Max Fisher, Vox).
One of the President’s most hawkish areas has been terrorism, but in his speech, he shifted to an approach of indirect policy toward terrorism, saying “…the US should fight terrorism not with direct military action but indirectly.”
Military Power Replaced by Diplomacy and Multilateralism
Obama insists that the US will address threats from Syria, Russia and China, not by confronting them, but by strengthening local allies. This perfectly aligns with his foreign policy approach of dealing indirectly with threats.
Dovish Foreign Policy Comes with a Trade-Off
Implementing the President’s new foreign policy strategy comes with a trade-off: if we implement this strategy, we much accept some problems and tragedies as beyond our ability to remedy. It means we’ll be hands-off in many areas of the world, and that lack of control could certainly come with a heavy price tag. Only time will tell how such an anti-war foreign policy will affect the nation.