Many say the buck stops with the POTUS, but that is a false reality, because when the president makes a mistake it doesn't come back to bite him, for he always, always has a fall guy and that person will invariably be thrown "under the bus" a honored tradition in Washington. Obama has been great at "passing the buck" and blaming Bush for many of his woes. But them all politicians are good at this and it is a time honored tradition and accepted by most in power.
Currently we are faced with a tragedy in the Gulf and our leader can't seem to get a handle on the deteriorating condition. I understand the Russians had a situation similar sometime back and simply blew the damn thing up. Rest assured we will never do anything that decisive in the Gulf. For that to happen the President would have to give the order and in that case there would be no fall back position available and if the thing should "blowup" in some unintended way he would, indeed be forced to take the blame----therefore it will never happen. Plausible deniability rules the day in Washington and few if any will step forward and make bold moves that will leave them vulnerable to attack from their enemies.
To conclude, bureaucrats will always avoid making difficult decisions, ones that could put their coveted jobs at risk and will always leave a way to assign blame to others for any move they may make (passing the buck). This is why our government, any government seldom gets the job done efficiently and quickly. So whenever possible our fearless leader will continue to pass the buck!