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Obama's Foreign Policy: 'Don't Do Stupid Sh*t'

Uncouth doctrine intended to avoid wars
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 2, 2014 9:39 AM CDT

(Newser) – Obama has formulated his foreign policy doctrine down to one pithy, and for most newspapers unprintable, phrase: "Don't do stupid shit." White House aides have been dropping that bon mot in conversations with journalists over the past month or so, Politico observes, detailing a half-dozen news articles in which it's appeared—though usually in the more sanitized form, "Don't do stupid stuff."

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In the past four days alone, it's thrice appeared in the New York Times. Here's the relevant quote, for example, from an article in yesterday's Times:

  • "In his second term, a time that presidents typically set about cementing their legacies as statesmen, Mr. Obama has instead settled on a minimalist foreign policy—one that he laid out at West Point and sums up with a saltier version of the phrase, 'don’t do stupid stuff.'"
As an earlier LA Times piece explained, Obama wants to avoid both a catch-all foreign policy prescription, as well as military quagmires like Iraq, which he once called a "dumb war." That philosophy was the guiding light, apparently, behind last week's major foreign policy speech. (Read more Barack Obama stories.)

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