09:39 GMT24 February 2020
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    As President Obama’s second term in the Oval Office nears its end, the Heritage Foundation, a US conservative think tank, attempts to assess the record he leaves behind, and comes to the conclusion that "by every objective measure, the nation has received a meager return on the defense dollars invested by Mr. Obama’s Pentagon."

    "In assessing the president’s legacy, historians will have plenty of legitimate topics to tussle over," Heritage Foundation Vice President, James Jay Carafano, wrote in his article in The National Interest magazine. "But there are no criteria for measuring presidential power that suggest he ranks as a talented commander-in-chief. Quite the contrary."

    Carafano then went on to detail every area where the US president has apparently failed.

    "Barack Obama Ended Two Wars?" – No. "Today, American military assistance is flowing into — not out of Iraq."

    The author debunks the claim that the 44th President of the US has succeeded in the wars his country fought in Iraq and Afghanistan. In fact, he says, the countries are in "far worse shape that when Obama entered the Office."

    "This claim rests on the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq and the drawdown of American forces in Afghanistan. Neither action ended a war," he says.

    "Battle continues to rage in Iraq, and the country is in far, far worse shape militarily (and by most any other measure) than when Mr. Obama entered the Oval Office."

    "Today, American military assistance is flowing into--not out--of Iraq."

    "As for Afghanistan, US troops are still there, fighting and dying. CENTCOM (US central Command), the Pentagon, the Afghans, Pakistan, India and our NATO allies all think the troops need to stay. There is more fighting ahead. This is not what peace looks like."

    And the US-led intervention in Libya in March 2011 has left it "a hell hole, stuck in a cycle of internecine violence." Clearly undermining the president’s “leading from behind” military strategy for the country.

    "Barack Obama Ended the War on Terrorism?" – No. "Since the president started: more people are dying from terrorism; the terrorists control more territory and they have more money."

    "Bin Laden is dead."  "Al-Qaeda is on the run." "ISIS/ISIL is the JV team (junior varsity basketball squad)," Carafano quotes Obama’s achievements.

    "Only the first claim is true," he states.

    "And by the time Seal Team 6 took out Osama Bin Laden, he was semi-retired. Meanwhile, Al-Qaeda has affiliates all over South Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa. And ISIS has its own country — comprising a third of Iraq and a third of Syria."

    "The big picture reveals that, since the president started: more people are dying from terrorism; the terrorists control more territory and they have more money. Oh, and there are more, not less, terrorist plots aimed at the US.”

    Summing up how the US commander-in-chief has altogether fulfilled his duties, the author noted that “Mr. Obama has been a poor steward of the armed forces."

    "When he leaves office, the US military will be smaller and less capable than it was on 9/11."

    "The Heritage Foundation’s 'Index of US Military Strength' now rates the ability of US armed forces to prevail in a two-war scenario as 'marginal'.”

    "By every objective measure, the nation has received a meager return on the defense dollars invested by Mr. Obama’s Pentagon."

    In an attempt to sort out "exactly why Mr. Obama failed so thoroughly as master and commander," Carafano singled out his restrain to use force, cognitive dissonance and risk aversion.

    "Central to the Obama doctrine is the restrained use of force. The president always seeks to find the absolute minimum level of military power he can get away with. That makes his actions predictable, and when there is an imbalance of interest—when an adversary is willing to raise the level of violence higher than Mr. Obama calculated—the president comes up short."

    "The White House has penchant for believing a) everything is going according to plan, b) when things are going badly, it doesn't really matter, and c) the other guy can't be smarter than we are. Each of these preferred beliefs is a weakness. Together, they make the Oval Office terrible at reading their adversaries, unable to sense failure and committed to spinning the story to make everything seem okay, instead of changing course when everything goes wrong."

     "Unfortunately, excessive risk aversion actually drives up risk. Instead of mitigating threats, it placates or enables them, allowing them to grow faster and present an even bigger problem some time later."

    "It’s like the penny-pinching car owner who forgoes paying $40 bucks for an oil change, leaving his engine to self-destruct down the road," Carafano therefore concluded.

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    Tags:
    military strategy, failure, military campaign, military conflict, Barack Obama, Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq, United States
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