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The Editors

Obama's Mushy Foreign Policy

President Barack Obama's West Point commencement speech won't tamp down criticism of his conduct of foreign policy as weak, indecisive and unconvincing.
President Barack Obama looks convincing at West Point. Photographer: Spencer Platt/Getty Images
President Barack Obama looks convincing at West Point. Photographer: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

It's rare when a commencement speaker tells graduates he's doing his best to diminish their career opportunities. Yet to a military stretched thin by a decade at war, President Barack Obama's message at West Point's graduation was doubtless welcome.

"U.S. military action cannot be the only -- or even primary -- component of our leadership in every instance," Obama said. In laying out his vision for the U.S. role in the world, the president aimed for the well-trod high ground between isolationists and interventionists. His last effort to get there, a peevish exposition at a news conference in the Philippines, wasn't very convincing. His presentation was more polished today, but it's unlikely to tamp down criticism of his conduct of foreign policy as weak, indecisive and unconvincing