Back in 2008, campaigner Barack Obama was full of promises of the glories to come if he were elected President of the United States. He would usher in the next utopia on the domestic front. He vowed to increase respect for America on the world stage. According to a Gallup poll taken the week after the election, 76% of the responders believed his global assurance. The international crowd was much less easy to convince, except the Nobel Committee, which gave him the Peace Prize for saying all the right things.
But, big promises are difficult to fulfill. By mid-October 2014, only 31% of U.S. voters gave Obama’s actual foreign policy the thumbs up. In fact, the approval of his handling of ISIS and Syria ranks last among crises dealt with during the last three decades by sitting Presidents.
Obama’s admission in late August 2014 that he had no strategy for dealing with ISIS in Syria didn’t help his ratings. Or the fact that on September 4 he stated more generally that he did not have any ISIS strategy. Or the fact that the next day his administration began using the meaningless “degrade and ultimately destroy” slogan as its response to the strategy question. If Obama does have an ISIS strategy, no one in the know is willing to talk about it. He did emphasize in October that...
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