After outlining his vision for United States foreign policy to during his West Point commencement address on Wednesday morning, Barack Obama asserted, "This is American leadership. This is American strength."
"In each case, we built coalitions to respond to a specific challenge. Now we need to do more to strengthen the institutions that can anticipate and prevent them from spreading," Obama continued in reference to the United States handling of Iran, Syria and the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
"For example, NATO is the strongest alliance the world has ever known. But we are now working with NATO allies to meet new missions – within Europe, where our Eastern allies must be reassured; and also beyond Europe’s borders, where our NATO allies must pull their weight to counter-terrorism, respond to failed states, and train a network of partners."
Obama also declared, "I believe in American exceptionalism with every fiber of my being. But what makes us exceptional is not our ability to flout international norms and the rule of law; it’s our willingness to affirm them through our actions."
President Obama added that he was not weak: "Of course, skeptics often downplay the effectiveness of multilateral action,' he allowed. 'For them, working through international institutions, or respecting international law, is a sign of weakness. I think they’re wrong."