A chastened Barack Obama, who once naively believed that his intellect, personal charm, and multicultural understanding could sway Ayatollahs, post-Soviet dictators, Muslim fanatics, and Korean loons, is left with kicking the can down the road to prevent his initiatives from collapsing before his term is out. Despite tough talk of red lines and serious consequences, our enemies know he will not use American power. Time will tell whether Obama’s power aversion served the nation, but it does mean that to he will be ignored in those situations where it is in our national interest to show resolve, have a stiff back, and be willing to carry through on threats. This is the lesson that the Ukrainian crisis is teaching us.
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