For the past three years America has been walking softly, and it's working very, very well. Ten years back, America often found itself isolated, struggling to pull together "coalitions of the willing" packed with small client states. Lately, we have been finding ourselves in the majority, along with the democratic world, while Russia and China front a dwindling coalition of the unwilling. To some extent, this reflects a smart, subtle foreign-policy presence in which we have done a vastly better job of looking at what other countries actually want, and seeing where our interests align, rather than trying to bully other countries into supporting our goals. To some extent, it's luck: the Arab spring happened... Commentators who envision Barack Obama running on his foreign-policy successes in this year's campaign generally adduce examples like the assassination of Osama bin Laden and the crippling of al-Qaeda. Perhaps these are the examples that figure most clearly in the American voter's imagination. It would be nice, though, if voters evaluated presidents' foreign policies on the basis of whether they had won the respect of the world and advanced American interests internationally. The evidence of recent American foreign-policy effectiveness isn't that we've shot a lot of bad guys. It's that when our UN ambassador calls the Chinese and Russian vetoes of action on Syria "disgusting", she's speaking for the overwhelming majority of the world, and they are in the isolated minority.Read the whole thing. For all of Mitt Romney's and Newt Gingrich's bluster about the alleged ineptitude of the man currently occupying the job they seek, their silence on the substance of American foreign policy these last few years is deafening.