WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama believes the United States must resist the temptation to “over-reach” in its foreign policy and have “strategic patience” when it comes to tough international problems.
In a strategy document released Friday, Obama made the case for a more deliberative, cautious and restrained US foreign policy.
“The challenges we face require strategic patience and persistence,” he said — comments likely to be painted as vacillation or obfuscation by his political rivals.
Obama is currently facing calls for the United States to use its vast military and economic power to decisively intervene in Syria and Ukraine.
But the National Security Strategy document makes clear Obama’s White House will not rush to engage if the outcome is unclear.
“The United States will always defend our interests and uphold our commitments to allies and partners,” the document states.
“But, we have to make hard choices among many competing priorities, and we must always resist the over-reach that comes when we make decisions based upon fear.
“Moreover, we must recognize that a smart national security strategy does not rely solely on military power.”
The strategy echoes Obama’s foreign policy mantra — informally summarized as “don’t do stupid stuff” — adopted in the wake of simultaneous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.