Charles Krauthammer said Wednesday on “Special Report with Bret Baier”that President Obama’s attempt to lay out his foreign policy vision during his commencement address at West Point was “literally pointless. It didn't have a point, it was a defensive speech.”
One day after he declared that all U.S. troops will be out of Afghanistan by 2016, Obama told the graduating cadets that "the landscape has changed" with the end of the war in Iraq. The president said that Wednesday’s graduating class would be the first class in nearly a decade that likely will not be deployed to a war zone.
“(While) I was worried about critics who think military intervention is the only way for America to avoid looking weak," he said, "just because we have the best hammer does not mean that every problem is a nail."
Krauthammer, a syndicated columnist and Fox News contributor, said the president’s speech was misguided.
“It was an answer to the chorus of criticism, even from his side of the aisle, that it's been a weak, leaderless, rudderless foreign policy, which it has been," he said. "I spoke to a member of Congress who was in the armed forces and he said there was a real pettiness and a personalization of this."
“This is a graduation speech for West Point," he said. "It was not a place where you -- you know, you want to be inspiring the future officers of America, it isn't a place to answer your critics or to go point by point against all the attacks on him. And he set out this ridiculous contrast between extreme isolationism on the one hand, and extreme, almost a caricature of intervention, on the other hand.”
In his speech, Obama also said there are those “interventionists from the left and right” who argue that “America's failure to act in the face of Syrian brutality or Russian provocations… invites escalating aggression in the future.”
Obama said he believed there was no military solution to the ongoing civil war in Syria, but he vowed that the United States would continue to support the Syrian people.
Krauthammer said that characterization missed the mark.
“There's not a person in America who's asking for boots on the ground in Syria or in Ukraine. In those places, people said show some rhetorical support, show some serious economic sanctions on Ukraine, give these people, all they're asking for is the weapons to defend themselves, which Obama has denied them, and in Syria it's led to 160,000 dead," he said. "So, I mean, he sets up straw man, he makes the argument and I think it was a very weak and defensive speech.”