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America's role in world affairs
May 28th, 2014
05:27 PM ET

America's role in world affairs

President Barack Obama on Wednesday outlined a foreign policy vision of "might doing right," arguing that modern pragmatism requires both a strong military and the diplomatic tools of alliances and sanctions to exert influence and provide global leadership.

He told graduating cadets at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point that after the nation's "long season of war and divisions about how to move forward," they now would represent America with the duty "not only to protect our country, but to do what is right and just."

Under fire from the political right for what critics call diminishing U.S. global influence, Obama offered a robust defense of his foreign policy as the pragmatic and most effective expression of America's leadership role in the world.

"I believe in American exceptionalism with every fiber of my being," he said, referring to a tenet of conservative ideology.

"But what makes us exceptional is not flouting international norms and the rule of law; it's our willingness to affirm them through our actions," Obama said in arguing that true leadership involves not only having the world's most powerful military, but in doing the right thing.Full story

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At 6:30pm ET, Dr. Ben Carson and former Governor Ted Strickland (D-OH) join Newt Gingrich and Stephanie Cutter for a debate.

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Do you think America should play a bigger or smaller role in world affairs?

Vote by tweeting Bigger or Smaller using #Crossfire or comment on our Facebook post. View results below or through our Poptip results page.

soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. heaven

    obama has conquered the the world for america. africa, middle east, asia were going under chinese control, he saved them from china and brought them to with american ideology, business and trades. obama has saved these countries and saved america from disaster. hope hilary, if elected as president, will do the same.

    May 30, 2014 at 11:53 am | Reply
  2. The Entire GOP Platform In A Single Paragraph

    The GOP Prayer/Mantra/Solution: Dear God...With your loving kindness, help us to turn all the Old, Sick, Poor, Non-white, Non-christian, Female, and Gay people into slaves. Then, with your guidance and compassion, we will whip them until they are Young, Healthy, Rich, White, Christian, Male, and Straight. Or until they are dead. God...Grant us the knowledge to then turn them into Soylent Green to feed the military during the next "unfunded/off-the-books" war. God...Give us the strength during our speeches to repeatedly yell........TAX CUTS FOR THE RICH!!!..........and........GET RID OF SS AND MEDICARE!!!
    In your name we prey (purposely misspelled, or is it?)........Amen

    May 29, 2014 at 3:36 pm | Reply
  3. Tom1940

    "America's involvement in world affairs". When might that have happened? I noticed that since the White House Policy of "Lead from behind", became the watchword of this Administration – America has not be "much" involved in anything resembling "world affairs".

    May 29, 2014 at 11:43 am | Reply
  4. Minnie Mouse

    More needs to be addressed and action taken in our National affairs rather than in World affairs. There is only so much the U.S. can do for other countries and if we don't specifically need be involved and or our troops involved, we need to not be involved.

    May 29, 2014 at 10:26 am | Reply
  5. stingerhp

    Our role in the arena of World Affairs has become the entertainment for all the other serious countries.. We no longer hold the "super power" designation and no one listens to what we have to say.. So until we change the entire staff sitting in Washington, we will be the laughed at country.........

    May 29, 2014 at 10:17 am | Reply
  6. mary mary

    when your friends and allies suspect you are promoting war to keep alive the only real economy you still possess,
    the end of greatness is not only in sight, it draws quite near ...

    May 29, 2014 at 8:16 am | Reply
  7. CTW

    Dr. Carson is taking him to the woodshed lol.

    May 28, 2014 at 7:09 pm | Reply
  8. Tom Johnson

    The U.S. Should play a collaborative's time the U.N . Should be the,leader in the role....otherwise disbanded it

    May 28, 2014 at 7:03 pm | Reply
    • isaac

      Who do you think is in charge of NATO?

      May 29, 2014 at 12:47 pm | Reply
  9. Bijan Rouhani

    How about recklessly realistic?

    May 28, 2014 at 6:37 pm | Reply

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