We need a foreign policy between Obama's retreat and Bush's "freedom agenda"

Here is a question for Republican presidential aspirants:

Given the absence of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, and given that we now know how little we know about “nation-building” and about the promotion of democracy in nations that need to be “built,” and given that Saddam Hussein’s horrific tyranny at least controlled Iraq’s sectarian furies, and given that Iraq under him was Iran’s adversary, and given that ten-year wars make Americans indiscriminately averse to military undertakings — given all this, if you could rewind history to March 2003, would you favor invading Iraq?

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Barack Obama is conducting the foreign-policy retreat he promised, that then–Secretary of State Hillary Clinton facilitated without apparent qualms, and that many Americans said they wanted until it began to make them queasy. The Republican challenge is to articulate a policy that fills the vast space between this retreat and the ruinous grandiosity of the “freedom agenda” of Obama’s predecessor.

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