Obama said this last September:
Now, it will take time to eradicate a cancer like ISIL. And any time we take military action, there are risks involved –- especially to the servicemen and women who carry out these missions. But I want the American people to understand how this effort will be different from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It will not involve American combat troops fighting on foreign soil. This counterterrorism campaign will be waged through a steady, relentless effort to take out ISIL wherever they exist, using our air power and our support for partner forces on the ground. This strategy of taking out terrorists, who threaten us, while supporting partners on the front lines, is one that we have successfully pursued in Yemen and Somalia for years. And it is consistent with the approach I outlined earlier this year: to use force against anyone who threatens America’s core interests, but to mobilize partners wherever possible to address broader challenges to international order.
This is how Obama explained his approach to foreign policy Tuesday evening:
My first duty as Commander-in-Chief is to defend the United States of America. In doing so, the question is not whether America leads in the world, but how. When we make rash decisions, reacting to the headlines instead of using our heads; when the first response to a challenge is to send in our military – then we risk getting drawn into unnecessary conflicts, and neglect the broader strategy we need for a safer, more prosperous world. That's what our enemies want us to do.
I believe in a smarter kind of American leadership. We lead best when we combine military power with strong diplomacy; when we leverage our power with coalition building; when we don't let our fears blind us to the opportunities that this new century presents. That's exactly what we're doing right now – and around the globe, it is making a difference.
Obama’s example of success was falling apart even as Obama was proclaiming his foreign policy successes. This was the story:
Yemen's government has collapsed. The country's president and his cabinet resigned today. President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi had been a staunch supporter of the U.S. counterterror efforts against al-Qaida's affiliate in Yemen. That group has targeted the U.S. and recently claimed credit for the terrorist attack against the magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris. Now the U.S. is trying to understand how the political turmoil in Yemen will affect the counterterrorism fight.
The spokesperson for the State Department stated, even after this had happened, that the State Department was accessing the situation to determine what was happening. Up to this point, we have heard nothing else from the State Department or the White House. This is obviously because of Obama’s policy of not reacting to headlines but instead using his head.
While the ostrich had his head in the sand, his foes destroyed him, but he was destroyed believing all was well in the world.