President Obama fired back at critics of his foreign policy on Monday, saying their aggressiveness would risk an Iraq-like military conflict.
"Why is it that everybody is so eager to use military force after we've just gone through a decade of war at enormous costs to our troops and to our budget?" Obama said during a news conference in the Philippines. "And what is it exactly that these critics think would have been accomplished?"
While not naming names, Obama said that "many who were proponents of what I consider to be a disastrous decision to go into Iraq haven't really learned the lesson of the last decade, and they keep on just playing the same note over and over again. Why? I don't know."
Critics like Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and other Republicans say Obama's "weak" foreign policy encourages aggression by Russia, Syria and others.
Obama says the United States is working with allies to punish Russia economically for its incursion into Ukraine, and to remove chemical weapons from Syria.
U.S. alliances are stronger, Obama said, "and that may not always be sexy. That may not always attract a lot of attention, and it doesn't make for good argument on Sunday morning shows. But it avoids errors."