Obama’s ‘Strategic Patience’ Strategy Could Backfire Among U.S. Allies

U.S. President Barack Obama talks with National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice in the Oval Office prior to a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Feb. 10, 2015 (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza).
U.S. President Barack Obama talks with National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice in the Oval Office prior to a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Feb. 10, 2015 (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza).

U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration has drawn a good deal of criticism for its concept of “strategic patience,” which serves as the core for the recently released National Security Strategy. It’s understandable why the president’s national security team chose that specific language. It is meant to give more gravitas to an approach more jocularly described as “don’t do stupid [things]”—and is supposed to convey that the current management does not plan to respond impulsively to the challenges of the day. In a 24/7 news culture, when demands for the United States to “do something” erupt within minutes of breaking news […]

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