LOS ANGELES — Some necessary context for President Barack Obama’s long-awaited Afghanistan policy speech: Foreign policy performance is anything but the total measure of a president’s worth. America’s domestic politics, not to mention its elections, are more often than not driven by the forces, and failures, of economics.

But get foreign policy matters seriously wrong and the president of the world’s only superpower walks around looking like a three-legged dog. Just recall Lyndon Johnson’s Vietnam failure, which more or less wound up defining his tragic presidency.

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