Shortly after the election last November a striking–yet quickly pushed under the rug–report came out that the Obama administration had hastily put together a “rules of engagement” manual for a potential Romney administration as they relate to the president’s extensive use of drones strikes in countries that harbor terrorists. Through President Obama’s first term complaints crew louder and louder from conservatives and even some liberals in regards to the president’s use of drones and a reported “kill list,” supposedly okayed by the Justice Department. While giving his second inaugural address Monday, Obama only briefly touched on foreign policy; mentioning:
We, the people, still believe that enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war.
Our brave men and women in uniform tempered by the flames of battle are unmatched in skill and courage.
Our citizens seared by the memory of those we have lost, know too well the price that is paid for liberty. The knowledge of their sacrifice will keep us forever vigilant against those who would do us harm. But we are also heirs to those who won the peace, and not just the war. Who turn sworn enemies into the surest of friends. And we must carry those lessons into this time as well. We will defend our people, and uphold our values through strength of arms, and the rule of law.
We will show the courage to try and resolve our differences with other nations peacefully. Not because we are naive about the dangers we face, but because engagement can more durably lift suspicion and fear.
America will remain the anchor of strong alliances in every corner of the globe. And we will renew those institutions that extend our capacity to manage crisis abroad. For no one has a greater stake in a peaceful world than its most powerful nation. We will support democracy from Asia to Africa, from the Americas to the Middle East, because our interests and our conscience compel us to act on behalf of those who long for freedom. And we must be a source of hope to the poor, the sick, the marginalized, the victims of prejudice.
On ‘Real News‘ Monday, the panel debated how history will look back at Obama’s foreign and defense policy, use of force abroad, and investment in homeland security: