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Leading from Behind a Smart Move by U.S. in Libya

Obama has been quick to stress, “We lead from the front” but leading from behind is in fact the smart strategy in today’s world, argues Roger Cohen.

What’s the Latest Development?

‘Leading from behind’ has become a loaded phrase in Washington, one that Obama has been quick to distance himself from. But in fact it was a smart policy in Libya, says Roger Cohen. “…it’s sensible to…use the burden-sharing of military alliances to the full, take out terrorists one by one rather than go to war against them, and act in concert with like-minded nations.”

What’s the Big Idea?

Discreet does not mean desultory, argues Cohen. “If leading from behind brings the success of the Libyan intervention, and refusal to be ‘a nation of followers’ brings you Iraq and Afghanistan, the choice seems clear enough. Lead me from behind, Mr. President.”


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