The Obama doctrine: Leading from behind; Undoing our Victories
As Trump’s “sad fool,” Charles Krauthammer, rightly points out, the Obama administration has abdicated American leadership because of its fear of being unliked. Ryan Lizza points out in the New Yorker, Obama “came of age” during the post-Reagan, Cold War era. (One has to wonder if Obama ever actually came of age, or if he remains in kindergarten.)
The implication, then is that Reagan’s handling of the Cold War was a misstep; that America’s success in the Cold War was not worth the negative press and hurt feelings it brought. Perhaps Obama is right; perhaps the world was better off with a divided Germany, an ever more powerful and belligerent Russia and a feeble and weak America, just the way Obama’s predecessor in ideology left it.
But perhaps not. Perhaps the world is better off with peaceful (though perhaps corrupt) democracies spreading globally. Perhaps the world is better with a united Germany, able to drag Europe, kicking and screaming, out of the next Dark Ages. Perhaps, by freeing the world, we will finally be at peace because a democracy free to choose will never choose war.
Reagan was famously asked what his strategy was for the Cold War. “Here’s my strategy on the Cold War: We win, they lose.” was his reply. More and more it seems that Obama’s response to a similar question today would be “We lose, they win.” This seems more likely to be the Obama doctrine than the laughable “leading from behind,” but perhaps it’s the same thing.