I disagree with Eugene Robinson’s characterization that President Obama’s speech on Afghanistan last week was “disheartening” [“A far-too-slow drawdown,” op-ed, June 24].

By focusing on troop numbers, most pundits missed the speech’s larger, deeper point: The president was advancing a strong centrist policy that articulated how America should make international policy decisions. Mr. Obama sidestepped the false choices of neoconservative military adventures and stultifying isolationist tendencies. Furthermore, the president fundamentally linked strength in the international area to strength at home: A strong home front means a nation able to fulfill its obligations abroad.

If this real-time formation of an emerging foreign policy doctrine isn’t heartening, I’m not sure what is.

Aki Peritz, Washington

The writer is a senior policy adviser for national security at Third Way.