President Obama Defends Foreign Policy In Speech

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President Barack Obama arrives to deliver the commencement address to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point's Class of 2014 on May 28, 2014, in West Point, N.Y. In a broad defense of his foreign policy, the president declared  that the U.S. remains the world's most indispensable nation, even after a "long season of war," but argued for restraint before embarking on more military adventures. (Susan Walsh/AP Photo)

President Obama pushed back today against critics of his foreign policy, during a graduation ceremony at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

The president said the U.S. remains “the indispensable nation,” and said the question is not, “whether American will lead, but how we will lead.”

He also emphasized that the “U.S. will use military force, unilaterally when necessary,” but “when issues of global concern that do not pose a direct threat to the United States are at stake … we should not go it alone.”

The president’s approach to foreign policy has come under harsh criticism for what opponents say is a passive approach abroad.

NPR political correspondent Mara Liasson discusses President Obama’s speech, and his vision for America’s role in the world, with Here & Now’s Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson. The hosts then turn to former Assistant Secretary of Defense Bing West for analysis.


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