Then perhaps you’re not nuanced enough to grasp it, says Glenn Thrush at Politico. You see, the problem isn’t that Obama is in over his head in Libya, it’s that his foreign policy is far too thoughtful and complex to be summed up in something as simplistic as a “doctrine”:
At a briefing for reporters last Saturday as U.S. Tomahawks missiles slammed into the Libyan coast, a top aide to President Barack Obama was asked to define the “Obama doctrine” to explain why the United States was suddenly pursuing a third conflict in a Muslim nation. …
Yet after 800 words, the eloquent [Ben] Rhodes offered nothing as compact or pithy as the “Bush doctrine” Obama ran against in 2008, a black-and-white commitment to supporting democratic movements and using unilateral American firepower to back them when necessary.
Obama has “often railed against the oversimplified world view he believes led to the war in Iraq, ” writes Thrush. “Republicans, especially the neo-conservatives who gave enthusiastic support for the U.S. invasion of Iraq, have sought to paint Obama’s nuanced approach as fundamentally weak.”
If that’s the case, Obama certainly didn’t seem to have any problems articulating his “nuanced” views on foreign policy before taking office. And while there’s nothing wrong with complexity, what’s made Obama look weak has been his uncertainty and dithering. It’s been his seeming inability to make a choice until he’s backed up against a wall.