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The Progressive

Obama, War President

In 2008, many voters viewed Barack Obama as the peace candidate, but he’s turned into a war president.

On the campaign trail, he promised to get all combat troops out of Iraq by the spring of 2010. Then he extended that to the end of this year, and now his administration is trying to persuade the Iraqi government to sign an agreement extending the presence of U.S. troops there indefinitely.

And in Afghanistan, where Obama has tripled the number of U.S. troops, his administration is again backpedaling on withdrawal. Obama said he’d start bringing troops home this July, but that seems more and more likely to be just a token number.

He had vowed that all U.S. troops would be out of there by the end of 2014, but now his administration is negotiating with Kabul to have long-term military bases in Afghanistan.

And, of course, a month ago, Obama launched the war on Libya, which shows no signs of ending any time soon.

From his Nobel Prize speech to his Libya speech, Obama has become the chief advocate of war, boasting of its utility and expanding its justifications.

He’s turned into a better salesman for war than his predecessor, and he’s running the empire more efficiently—and with less antagonism.

More bombs, less bombast: That’s the Obama doctrine for you.

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Matthew Rothschild

Matthew Rothschild

Matthew Rothschild is senior editor of The Progressive magazine.

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