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President Obama's foreign policy has been a regular punching bag for Republican presidential candidates, but many of their criticisms are facile. The next president – from whichever party – will have to confront the same puzzle that Obama has faced about how best to use U.S. power in a world that resists military solutions.Republican denunciations of Obama avoid the deeper problems: Where should America intervene, and at what cost? GOP candidates have the luxury, in debate sound bites, of criticizing Obama's weakness without specifying what they would do differently. They want to project American power more aggressively, but few argue for sending more troops. Obama sometimes seems overmatched in a world of power-players such as Putin and China's President Xi Jinping.But in his foreign policy, Obama has been experimenting with the hard questions: How does America calibrate its power to the realities of the world, after its unsuccessful invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan?
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