13:34 GMT +324 February 2018
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    US President Barack Obama

    Obama Advisers Tried to Drag US Deeper Into Mideast Wars

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    US President Barack Obama has been surrounded by advisers and government institutions that have tried to get the United States even more involved in conflicts in the Middle East, Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief-of-staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell, told Sputnik.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Obama wanted to prevent the country from getting stuck in another Vietnam-style quagmire, Wilkerson noted, but despite this mindset the US forces will probably be in Afghanistan forever.

    "[Obama] had lots of people and institutions — and people in those institutions — around him trying like hell to get him involved [in wars]," Wilkerson said.

    The president has agonized over every bomb dropped including drone strikes, Wilkerson suggested, even if he found them expedient to his purposes.

    Research conducted by London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism found that over 3,000 people, including nearly 500 civilians, have been killed by drones under the Obama administration.

    On July 6, Obama announced that the United States will keep 8,400 US military personnel in Afghanistan until the end of the current administration, despite previous plans to reduce the number to 5,500.

    The US-led NATO mission in Afghanistan formally ended its operations in December 2014 after a presence in the country since 2001 to help local authorities to defeat the Taliban Islamist movement. Afghanistan, however, continues to be in political and social turmoil as jihadist groups take advantage of the instability in the country.


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