Mr. McCain you do make some valid and some interesting points. I think your general thesis for your argument is incorrect.
American weakness, as you called it, I believe started with George W. Bush. The utter failure of the Afghan and Iraq wars is the time people around the world stopped seeing us as invincible. I remember seeing you on the Sunday talk shows during the Iraq war, talking about how poorly it was being handled. You made suggestions on what should have been done. While our military is the best in the world, the strategy that was used in both wars made the U.S. look not only weak, but incompetent.
An incompetent opponent is not one to be feared and not a strong one. It was not in Crimea where Mr. Putin showed his disregard for America’s place in the world. Putin’s invasion of Georgia in 2008 would be a better example. Putin was not afraid of W. and W. did nothing about it.
It’s not right to criticize President Obama’s ‘reset’ with Russia; when you can look back to hear George Bush ‘seeing in Putin’s eyes’ or whatever he said. Sometimes it’s not our POTUS, sometimes it’s Putin.
As far as Iraq goes, you have said it is Obama’s fault for the chaos there because there isn’t a residual force or 5 or 10,000 American troops. That is completely wrong. The U.S. could not control Iraq when we had 200,000 troops there. Ten thousand wouldn’t help them now. The fact that an al Qaeda flag flies in Fallujah is sickening after so many Americans lost their lives their freeing that city.
As far as Syria, Ukraine, Afghanistan, Russia, Crimea; the U.S. needs to decide if we want to be on a constant war footing. Because of the failures in Iraq and Afghanistan the American people don’t want to be involved. That’s a direct result from the fiascos of the last 2 wars. Many have lost faith and trust in all government, more I believe have lost faith in the governments ability to best utilize the military.
While I do agree that Mr. Obama’s foreign policy is opaque at best, I don’t think it’s fair to criticize him for each and every global crisis we have had. I would like to hear a clear foreign policy from the Obama administration, but not holding my breath.
The point of this piece is to disagree with almost all of your conclusions, not to slam President Bush, although it would have been helpful if he knew about Sunni and Shia being at war for 700 years, the point is that America being the place everyone feared is not on Obama’s shoulders.
I don’t know the answers to all of these questions, but one must learn from history in how to move forward. You seem to have selective memory. I hope you read this. And, I thank you for your service to our Country.