(1) Definition the First
The Obama Doctrine is to ignore problems until they metastasize into vast international crises, then react with an ineffective spasm of concern. In this, the President has been consistent, be it Libya, Egypt, Boko Haram or Ukraine. The truly serious situations get a Twitter hashtag.
(2) Definition the Second
Asked seven years ago if the need to stave off potential genocide might convince him to change his mind about a total and precipitous withdrawal of American troops from Iraq, then-candidate Obama replied that it would not. “Well, look, if that’s the criteria by which we are making decisions on the deployment of U.S. forces, then by that argument you would have 300,000 troops in the Congo right now — where millions have been slaughtered as a consequence of ethnic strife — which we haven’t done,” Obama said.
This cynical avowal, I wrote at the time, was an indication of what might become the “Obama doctrine,” which I described thusly: “The United States will remain passive in the face of genocide.” Seven years later, I regret to say, my prediction stands up pretty well.
(3) Definition the Third (OK, not so much definition as observation)
US respnse 2 Syria,Russia,Iraq: 1)Huh? 2)We're watching this closely 3)With concern. 4)Hey, stop- 5)We won't tolerate that! 6)Mmm. Whatever.
— Rosa Brooks (@brooks_rosa) June 13, 2014