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Readers React: Obama’s foreign policy: too timid, or just right?

President Obama is seen last week during a joint news conference in Washington with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Obama and Merkel commented on Ukraine's May 25 elections.
President Obama is seen last week during a joint news conference in Washington with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Obama and Merkel commented on Ukraine’s May 25 elections.
(T.J. Kirkpatrick / Bloomberg)

Many are surprised that President Obama’s foreign policy seems to be most similar to that of an early 20th century isolationist. (“What Americans really want in a foreign policy,” Opinion, May 3)

Obama got much credit for his early opposition to the Iraq war, yet his continued reluctance to step across hostile borders has for some reason come as a surprise. He has been consistent: From a foreign policy perspective, Obama’s “vision” consists of letting others take action. Perhaps it is time to let our allies carry the load.

But abdicating U.S. leadership is not a solution. Not only are bad actors like Russian President Vladimir Putin encouraged, but allies end up feeling forced to make independent decisions that share no coherence within a greater Western framework.

Our foreign policy is not just small ball; it is uninvolved ball. Isolationism seems attractive but yields poor results. Our allies deserve better, and the bad actors deserve consequences for their actions.

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Mike Gallagher

La Habra Heights

The home run is the wrong analogy for Obama’s foreign policy. Scoreless innings — zero loss of American lives — are what his fans want.

In relief of George W. Bush, the starter, Obama pitched a final scoreless inning for Iraq, withdrawing U.S. forces. Admittedly, he fell behind in the early frames in Afghanistan, but he now shows promise of shutting it down in the ninth inning.

The southpaw’s trademark control restrained Israel from starting a regional conflagration in Iran, risking thousands of American casualties. So far, he has stopped Iran from scoring a big nuclear inning.

Bush swung wildly for home runs, costing thousands of American lives as a result. In contrast to his predecessor, Obama has kept the score down, one cautious inning at a time.

Howard Hurlbut

Redlands

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