Speed Reads

Numbers don't lie

Obama won't lead on Ukraine because Americans don't want him to

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Critics of President Obama's handling of foreign policy say he must move more aggressively to rein in Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin. Yet Obama — as he did during past foreign crises in Syria, Iran, and elsewhere — has talked tough about the worsening situation in Ukraine without shedding his light-touch, diplomacy-first approach. And in doing so, he's actually hewing closely to public opinion. As Pew found back in December, Americans' opposition to foreign intervention is at an all-time high:

Certainly that could change now that Russia has crossed the border into Ukraine. But after the long, costly wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Americans are no longer so gung-ho about sending troops overseas.