By Zachary A. Goldfarb
The Washington Post
August 23 at 9:15 PM
The week began with the breaking of the siege of Mount Sinjar in Iraq, thanks to U.S. bombing runs, and ended with the public beheading of American journalist James Foley in Syria and renewed Russian aggression in Ukraine.
The juxtaposition of military success and public human failure has caused a sense of whiplash around President Obama’s foreign policy and further stoked the debate about his worldview.
Obama’s detractors revived criticism that his foreign policy is based on retreat from the world, typified by the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq three years ago, a lack of direct action in Syria and an economics-first approach to driving Russia’s military back from Ukraine.
His supporters argue that his approach has been consistent with his strategy of returning the United States — after post-Sept. 11 wars — to a foreign…
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