Last week, Bloomberg’s Jonathan Alter posed a tantalizing question: “you think Obama’s been a bad president? Prove it.” More specifically, Alter challenged the president’s detractors to identify specific administration policy failures. On Monday, conservative David Frum responded to Alter’s throwing down the gauntlet with three examples of the President’s poor decision-making.
I came up with my own list of the president’s poor policy choices, which left-leaning bloggers have disputed. Of these decisions, Obama’s Libyan intervention may seem like his least obvious policy failure. So far, it appears to be an unmitigated operational success, achieved with far less blood and a lower price tag than the war in Iraq. That said, many on the left are confusing the current operational victory with the strategic validation of Samantha Power’s so-called “responsibility to protect“, which advocates military intervention on purely humanitarian grounds. The problem is that this policy sacrificed America’s vital interest of nuclear non-proliferation to achieve the limited strategic objective of ridding Libya of an unpleasant dictator.