President Barack Obama walks on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C., May 22, 2014.
Charles Dharapak/AP

Obama to defend foreign policy at West Point commencement

President Barack Obama will deliver the commencement address at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point on Wednesday, in which he’s expected to defend America’s response to a number of foreign policy crises that have gripped his administration.

The commander-in-chief is set to lay out a broader vision for U.S. foreign policy that relies on multilateral diplomacy versus military intervention.

A White House official told Reuters over the weekend that Obama will “discuss how the United States will use all the tools in our arsenal without over-reaching,” adding that he will lay out a policy that “is both interventionist and internationalist, but not isolationist or unilateral.”

The president has faced a slew of international crises in his second term – from the chemical attacks in Syria, to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s annexation of the Crimea region in Ukraine, to revelations that the National Security Agency was spying on foreign leaders.

Several Republicans have criticized Obama’s foreign policy, insisting the president has acted with passivity and has failed to take the reigns of global leadership.

White House advisers have said because of the U.S. having to focus on crises in Ukraine and Syria, the Obama Administration has not been able to lay out its overarching policy, which the president hopes to do on Wednesday.

White House press secretary Jay Carney said last week at a press briefing that he did not know if Obama would use the commencement address to discuss the growing Veterans Affairs scandal concerning VA medical facilities reporting inaccurate waiting times for treatment.

Barack Obama and Foreign Policy

Obama to defend foreign policy at West Point commencement