Look outward, Obama
The president’s domestic agenda may consist of making compromises with Republicans. But overseas he is freer to act. And there’s much that needs his attention.
Erik De Castro/Reuters
The just-concluded presidential election was fought over jobs and the economy. Foreign policy was largely an afterthought.
Overall, the differences on foreign policy between the two US political parties have not been nearly so sharp as the domestic divide, though some Republicans continue to be disturbed by the Obama administration’s response to the murder of four Americans, including US Ambassador Christopher Stevens, in Benghazi, Libya, Sept. 11.
President Obama may well have a freer hand on foreign policy than he will with the GOP-led House on domestic issues. If this proves true, where is his attention needed most?
First, a caveat. An unexpected event could always relegate the president’s best-laid plans to the dustbin, just as George W. Bush’s first term was instantly and profoundly shaped by the 9/11 attacks. Another terrorist assault on the United States would immediately dominate any president’s agenda.
But assuming no sudden crisis arises, here are some of what should be Mr. Obama’s top priorities:
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