Obama could reduce the level of U.S. spending abroad, cut back on intervention (he intervened in Libya and is intervening in Syria, for example, and sent troops to sub-Saharan Africa for reasons no one can explain), and bring home American troops. That is not the problem. We are no longer engaged in the debates of a half-century ago in this regard.
Similarly, no one is calling for America to be the world’s policeman. Not only are the resources and will lacking, but there is no need to play such a role. And besides, who wants a policeman who says the Mafia isn’t a threat?
We are not talking about isolationism versus engagement, multilateralism versus unilateralism, or military responses versus diplomatic efforts.
The issue is simply this one: when you say something or do something or spend something, whose side are you on?
No matter how active or inactive you are and no matter how much or how little money you spend, the key question is who you want to win, who do you see as your friends, and who do you see as threats.
This Obama team is on the wrong side
Let me put it in (American) football terms: We’re not arguing about whether you should pass or run the ball but which end zone you are heading for. If you are going the wrong way, you are only helping the other side, and will end up in (soccer) football terms with an “own goal.” And there is no safety in that.