Jackie Gingrich Cushman
What a difference a year makes. Last September, the Obama administration and the media were cheering happenstance as victory. A quick review of last year's events: the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government on civilians, tough talk by President Barack Obama, an administration push for a congressional vote for use of force, Secretary of State John Kerry's off-the-cuff remark regarding Syrian giving up chemical weapons, Russian President Vladimir Putin leveraging the remark into action, the Obama administration claiming a great solution.

The events led the administration to believe that letting a situation play out, thereby leading to a happenstance victory, is the same as a strategic course of action. This has been rolled out in the past year by the administration as "Don't do stupid stuff."

A June 1 article by Mike Allen for Politico titled, "'Don't do stupid sh--' (stuff)," tracks the distillation of Obama's approach to foreign policy beginning with the April 28 Los Angeles Times article, "Obama argues against use of force to solve global conflicts," by Christi Parsons, Kathleen Hennessey and Paul Richter. "The president's aides have scrambled to put things in simpler terms. 'Don't do stupid stuff' is the polite-company version of a phrase they use to describe the president's foreign policy."

This approach to not doing stupid stuff preceded Obama's remark this past week, that "we don't have a strategy yet" for dealing with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. While it might have been truthful, it was not comforting. The fact is we should have a strategy that understands the framework and focuses on using all possible tools to work toward an America-centric solution.


Jackie Gingrich Cushman

Jackie Gingrich Cushman is a speaker, syndicated columnist, socialpreneur, and author of "The Essential American: 25 Documents and Speeches Every American Should Own," and co-author of “The 5 Principles for a Successful Life: From Our Family to Yours”.