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Obama on 60 Minutes: US responding militarily with few global partners part of ‘how we roll’

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By Doug Powers  •  September 29, 2014 07:56 AM

**Written by Doug Powers

President Obama’s view on the necessity of a big “coalition” seems to have “evolved” just like so many other things:

In a “60 Minutes” interview Sunday evening, Obama was asked why the US is contributing such a significant portion of the military coalition against the jihadist group known as the Islamic State or ISIS. Obama responded by arguing that other countries were not stepping up.

“When trouble comes up anywhere in the world, they don’t call Beijing, they don’t call Moscow. They call us. That’s the deal,” he quipped.

When CBS’ Steve Kroft pressed Obama on the relatively small contributions from some of the US’ coalition partners, Obama insisted such arrangements were expected.

“That’s always the case. That’s always the case. America leads. We are the indispensable nation,” he said. “We have capacity no one else has. Our military is the best in the history of the world.”

Obama also said “that’s how we roll.” Taking the lead in the world and going it alone if necessary is a great American tradition. The Obama “coalition” dwarfs Bush’s (not that the NYT didn’t try to fix that) and yet Bush was accused by some of these same people of “going it alone” by not signing up enough partners for the effort:

During an April 2007 speech to the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Obama said the U.S. cannot try to “bully [the world] into submission.”

In a 2007 essay in Foreign Affairs, he specifically warned about breaking off from European allies: “In the case of Europe, we dismissed European reservations about the wisdom and necessity of the Iraq war.”

During his July 2008 campaign speech in Berlin, Obama told Europeans that “no one nation, no matter how large or powerful, can defeat such challenges alone.” He warned that “on both sides of the Atlantic, we have drifted apart, and forgotten our shared destiny” and that neither America nor Europe can “turn inward.”

How times have changed.

**Written by Doug Powers

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