Obama's About to Ditch His Doctrine for Nothing

Jeffrey Goldberg thinks Obama is about to cross a line—without going far enough

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 30, 2013 1:34 PM CDT

(Newser) – Foreign policy experts who complain that Barack Obama doesn't have a Middle East strategy are wrong. "There is, in fact, an Obama doctrine," Jeffrey Goldberg argues at Bloomberg. And for the first time, he "seems poised to violate it in an irredeemable way." Goldberg calls this strategy the "Doctrine of Disentanglement." Obama won the White House "because his predecessor invaded one too many Muslim countries," and he knows it. So he's striven mightily to limit US engagement with the region, which has at least "succeeded in protecting American life and property."

He's going to violate that doctrine by attacking Syria, because he couldn't resist drawing a red line on chemical weapons. "The urge was morally irresistible." Obama appears to be planning a limited missile strike, designed to punish, but not topple, the Assad regime. "'Regime change,' of course, is one of those terrible, entangling, Bush-era ideas." Goldberg thinks that's a mistake—he'll "be violating his own core doctrine, but for limited payout. … The only way to ensure that Assad does not again use chemical weapons is to remove him from power." Click for the full column.

In this Aug. 22, 2013 file photo, President Barack Obama pauses while speaking at Henninger High School in Syracuse, NY.
In this Aug. 22, 2013 file photo, President Barack Obama pauses while speaking at Henninger High School in Syracuse, NY.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)
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