World War O

Obama took office vowing to end America’s wars. Now we’re in at least five, and U.S. officials are unsure what to do about it.


Michael Crowley

President Barack Obama’s expression of remorse on Thursday for the death of two hostages in a U.S. drone strike underscored one of the great frustrations of his presidency: His dream of extricating the U.S. from messy foreign conflicts remains just that.

Obama pledged in his 2013 inaugural address that “a decade of war is now ending,” but the numbers suggest otherwise. The U.S. takes regular lethal action in at least five countries. U.S. troops are deployed in three conflict zones. And America is directly involved in a pair of Arab civil wars…

…the roster of violence is sobering, and the president’s more cautious advisers fret about how much more military risk America should take on as global conflicts multiply…

…Obama tries to influence the outcomes of conflicts while avoiding direct U.S. military engagement, largely by “subcontracting” security to countries like Saudi Arabia where possible. And [Kagan] doubts Obama can succeed in multiple war zones by fighting “light.”

“It’s pretty clear we’re not going to do anything you can’t do from 30,000 feet,” Kagan said. “I just don’t think it’s going to work.”


The complete article is at Politico.



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