• “The over-optimism that energized U.S. foreign policy under the George W. Bush administration contributed to an underappreciation of the risks of action, such as the invasion of Iraq in 2003. The pessimism about the efficacy of U.S. engagement abroad that influenced U.S. foreign policy under the Barack Obama administration led to an underappreciation of the risks of inaction, such as the complete withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq in 2011 or the decision to forgo military reprisals for the Assad regime’s mass murder of Syrian civilians with chemical weapons in 2013. Both forms of strategic narcissism were based mainly on wishful thinking and the definition of problems as one might like them to be as a way to avoid harsher realities.”

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