Friday, July 15, 2016

Obama’s Whac-A-Mole strategy

By Fareed Zakaria Opinion writer July 14 at 7:58 PM, WashPost

It has become conventional wisdom to note that President Obama has failed in his efforts to extricate the United States from military conflicts in the Middle East. Having promised to end these wars, he has in the past year expanded U.S. interventions in Iraq, Syria and other countries. The troop drawdown in Afghanistan has slowed to a trickle. “Obama’s legacy,” says Gene Healy of the Cato Institute, is clear: “endless war.” The New York Times’ Mark Landler noted in May that Obama had just “passed a somber, little-noticed milestone: He has now been at war longer than Mr. Bush, or any other American president.”

But these characterizations treat all military activity as alike, in a way that blurs rather than sharpens the picture. When Obama entered the White House, about 180,000 U.S. troops were engaged in active military combat in two theaters, Iraq and Afghanistan. The goal of both wars was to establish political order in these countries — to create functioning liberal democracies.

(More here.)

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