Speed Reads

Numbers don't lie

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


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.