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Obama’s Remarks on Iraq and Afghanistan

In the bitter battle for control, an American warplane mistakenly fired its missiles into a Doctors Without Borders hospital, killing 42 people and prompting accusations that the United States had committed a war crime. Critics of Mr. Obama have long said his clinical approach to wars weakened the ability of the nation to fight them.

Cohen said. Bush was also criticized for failing to ask the American people to make any sacrifices during the Iraq war. But, Dr. DeGeorge acknowledged the complications in measuring Mr. The American-led phase of the Afghanistan war, for example, ended formally in December , though thousands of troops remain there. For his analysis, he considered a state of war to exist when less than a month passed between either American casualties or an American airstrike.

More so than Mr. Bush or President Bill Clinton, Mr.

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Obama has fought a multifront war against militants. Gordon, who worked in the White House from to Still, Mr. Gordon and other former officials drew a distinction between the wars of the 21st century and those of the 20th century. For one, Congress has not specifically authorized any of Mr. Gordon said. It is not clear that Mr. Start Your Free Trial Today. Learn More in these related Britannica articles:.

Law-enforcement agencies and military forces around the globe were enlarged and adapted to fight terror—literally and with no…. September 11 attacks , series of airline hijackings and suicide attacks committed in by 19 militants associated with the Islamic extremist group al-Qaeda against targets in the United States, the deadliest terrorist attacks on American soil in U.

The attacks against New York City and…. The Cold War was waged on political, economic, and propaganda fronts and had only limited recourse to weapons.

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Sign up here to see what happened On This Day , every day in your inbox! By signing up, you agree to our Privacy Notice. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. More About. With the dramatic rise of a radical group that declared itself the Islamic State during the fall of , however, presidential forbearance gave way to a more muscular new course in the Middle East. The Islamic State, known by most as ISIS but, somewhat idiosyncratically referred to as ISIL by the president, was a former al Qaeda affiliate that took advantage of the civil war in Syria and the lassitude of the Iraq government to gain territory on both sides of the Iraq—Syria border.

The number of American troops in Iraq with a mission to help fight ISIS rose to more than 5, by , and his administration conducted more than 10, air strikes against the radical organization.

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Reassessing Obama’s Legacy of Restraint

Although the air strikes in Syria had strong bipartisan support, constitutional and partisan issues lurked just beneath the surface. Nightmarish instability in Syria had consequences not just for the region but for Europe as well, where hundreds of thousands of Syrians fled in pursuit of refuge from the chaotic conditions in their country. Growing Russian ambitions in the Middle East under Putin also were a source of frustration, as was the Putin-ordered military occupation of neighboring Ukraine in In response to the Russian occupation, the United States and European nations imposed economic sanctions against Russia but they brought about no withdrawal of Russian forces.

At the start of his second term in , he and the leaders of five other nations began negotiations with Iran that resulted in a agreement designed to prevent that country from developing nuclear weapons for at least a decade in return for removing United Nations-imposed economic sanctions.

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Under the agreement, Iran surrendered 97 percent of its enriched uranium. Obama also restored diplomatic relations with communist Cuba in December for the first time in more than a half century and visited the country in March In , the president reached a bilateral climate agreement in which China and the United States agreed to substantially reduce carbon emissions. That agreement laid the foundation for the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris in , at which nearly every country in the world agreed to monitor their emissions and develop plans to reduce them. In an effort to tie Pacific nations more closely to the United States than to China, Obama negotiated a multinational trade agreement, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, with twelve trading partners from round the Pacific basin.

TPP was caught up in election-year politics in , however, when the leading candidates in both major political parties opposed it, and it was never presented to Congress.

Obama’s Remarks on Iraq and Afghanistan - The New York Times

He enunciated no sweeping Obama Doctrine analogous to the Monroe Doctrine or the Bush Doctrine, preferring to deal with situations as they arose around the globe on a case-by-case basis. Grant Rutherford B. Hayes James A.


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