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U.S. President Barack Obama pauses as he speaks in the South Court Auditorium on the White House complex, Monday, Sept. 16, 2013.
U.S. President Barack Obama pauses as he speaks in the South Court Auditorium on the White House complex, Monday, Sept. 16, 2013.
(Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Associated Press)

Paul Heinbecker

Obama no foreign policy ace, but he’s not flunking it

President Barack Obama’s critics are in full, happy cry over his performance on Syria and even his apologists are troubled by it. Vladimir Putin, the macho man of Siberia, has upstaged Mr. Obama, the hapless Hamlet on the Potomac, or so the narrative goes. But before we just write off Mr. Obama for flunking foreign policy, it is worth taking another look at his objectives, his constraints and his accomplishments. None is trivial.