President Obama’s commencement speech fails to adequately address the critical need for interventionism in times of crisis


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Today President Obama outlined his argument for an American internationalist foreign policy at the Commencement Address at West Point Military Academy.

Drawing on the role America plays within the global community, Obama reiterated that, “it is America that the world looks to for help”. Viewing the United States on an international level, Obama surveyed American foreign policy across the states of Afghanistan, Iran and Ukraine, maintaining that America will always protect her interests and “should never ask permission to protect our people, our homeland, or our way of life”.

HJS welcomes Obama’s argument that isolationism is no longer an option, and HJS considers that interventionism is a legitimate means to tackle military conflicts in the world. However, the United States today plays a critical role in maintaining global peace, halting terrorism and stopping the movement of nuclear weapons into the hands of rogue regimes. Mere rhetoric by President Obama on the matter fails to address the need of the United States in continuing to play a critical leading role in global governance and consequently allows the activities of rogue regimes and terrorists to continue.

Dr Alan Mendoza, Executive Director of the Henry Jackson Society, said in reaction to the speech: “President Obama’s speech is very disappointing because it is merely more of the same. More of the same talk on United States withdrawal. More of the same vague talk about the need for interventionism and we can expect more of the same response from authoritarians like President Assad, President Putin and Supreme Leader Khameni.”


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