This is not the usual position for Democrats, especially those perceived as liberal as Obama, but he had pursued a strategy from the start of the administration to protect against the charge of weakness, all the while pursuing a policy of military withdrawal and international restraint.
He retained Robert Gates, G.W. Bush’s defense secretary; he stepped up a targeted drone strategy against Al-Qaeda suspected terrorist leaders; and he permitted a 30,000-troop surge in Afghanistan, even while doubtful about the policy’s chance of success.
But today that confidence is gone as the President and his team manage a host of problems with no clear solutions and aggressive, despotic rulers in Syria, Iran and Russia who ignore his preference for negotiation and adherence to international norms.
President Obama’s foreign policy job performance is now rated lower than his overall performance (36% to 43%, CBS, March 2014), and Americans believe the country is weaker, its image worse and Obama less respected today than when he came into office.
CBS News Poll: Challenges abroad, domestic issues and the2014 elections