Obama’s doubtful Foreign Policy legacy

Barack Obama took the US Presidency in 2011 and had announced his administration’s aims of winding down the may wars which was draining the United States economy. The US was fighting faraway battles in Afghanistan and in the badlands of Iraq. He vowed to repair all damage that have marred the global standing of the United States. The US has also sought to repair the dent in the reputation which have gone down with its invasion of Iraq. There was also the management of its world worldwide war against terrorism.

Unfinished business

Cut to 2017. Obama is on his way out. The US military continued to engage in more than six countries scattered all over the globe. It fights Islamist terrorist entities like ISIS and AL-Qaeda. American military technology are also seen to fight against Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda. The US has backed militarily the near dictator Yoweri Musuveni in the African country.

Obama has inherited a few conflicts from his predecessor. The war in Afghanistan is now much longer than American Civil War and the two World Wars combined. It is not that he has not tried. In 2009, President Obama had given orders for a troop surge. He also ordered increased diplomats to visit the region at the same time. All these efforts were destroyed by inertia and bureaucratic inefficiency. For example, US troop withdrawal dates in Afghanistan suffered from regular delays. It is now to done in 2017, after Obama leaves his post.


To be fair to President Obama, he did achieve a lot. The US leader ended the war in Iraq. He took credit for it during his 2012 election campaign- even when everyone knew that the Bush administration negotiated the agreement. US troops in 2014 returned to Iraq to fight the ISIS. Military hawks pointed that the return of American troops to Iraq proved that Obama was wrong in pulling out troops when it was clear that such a move will destabilize the Iraqi Government. The American invasion first destroyed the country. The long US occupation weakened the Iraqi Government. The latter is now dependent on foreign support.

The Obama administration itself has made a number of foreign policy disasters. AN example being the time the US army made a forced intervention in the North African country of Libya in 2011. It can be termed a different method of invasion as it was supported by Arab League. The end result was similar to Iraq: it destabilized the country.

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