WASHINGTON — Confronting critics of his foreign policy, President Barack Obama will soon outline a strategy for his final years in office that aims to avoid overreach as the second of the two wars he inherited comes to a close.
The president will make the case for that seemingly more limited approach during a commencement address Wednesday at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. The speech will come amid growing frustration in the White House with Republicans and other critics who contend that Obama has weakened America's standing around the world and faltered on problems across the Middle East and in Russia, China and elsewhere.
That criticism has mounted following Obama's decision to pull back a military strike in Syria and his inability to stop Russia from annexing territory from Ukraine. A White House official said Obama would address both situations, as well as the status of nuclear negotiations with Iran.
The president is also expected to discuss how he views shifts in the counterterrorism threat from al-Qaida and other groups, according to the official, who insisted on anonymity in speaking to the Associated Press to preview the president's speech.
Obama came into office vowing to end the lengthy U.S.-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and seeking to keep a war-weary nation out of unnecessary conflicts. While he has followed through on his pledge, some foreign policy analysts argue that he has over-corrected and his aversion to military action makes it harder for the United States to levy credible threats that force international foes to change their behavior.