15 October 2015

Who Knew that Hillary was the Peace Candidate in 2008?

So, to paraphrase Ron Zeigler,* any statements that Barack Obama about ending Any war that the US is involved in are now inoperative:
Barack Obama was elected to end the grueling ground wars of his predecessor, but he will leave office entrenching a military era defined by an inability to achieve either victory or extrication.

Obama’s decision to scrap his long-deferred ambition to end the US military commitment to Afghanistan reflects a twilight period in US warfare: after more than a decade, military commanders are unable to defeat an insurgency or field an indigenous proxy force and political leaders are unwilling to accept the blame of losing a war or openly committing the US to indefinite combat.

The result is a fudge that favors a rump force based on dubious military necessity and a hope that, at some point, the local force – whether in Afghanistan, Iraq or elsewhere – will be able to shoulder the burden.

While “no one wants to quote, ‘lose a war’ on their watch”, said retired army lieutenant general Dan Bolger, who once led the training of the Afghan army, the US is “kidding ourselves – the US-led counterinsurgency has already been lost, the Afghans’ counterinsurgency is on. We have to decide: do we contribute to it, and how?”

The latest version of Obama’s plans for Afghanistan is to retain the 9,800 troops presently in the country through most of 2016, with the aspiration to reduce this number to 5,500 by the time Obama leaves office. These will be based at Bagram, north of Kabul; Jalalabad in the east; and Kandahar in the south.

Reflecting the military’s wariness of abandoning Afghanistan, the revision follows a pattern established throughout Obama’s presidency: to tell the American public that the “tide of war is receding”, as his 2012 campaign mantra put it, while not actually stopping it.


Obama has now given up on ending US wars. Like Bush before him, he passes off to his successor the decision whether to disentangle or escalate, and his likely successors – except for longshot candidate Bernie Sanders – are more hawkish than he is.

He is maybe the closest thing to a peace president that the US has elected in a generation. But along with Obama’s geographically boundless campaign of quasi-assassination, twilight wars are his legacy.

I think that Spencer Ackerman is being too charitable here.

Based on his actions, as opposed to his words, it is entirely reasonable to conclude that he was never a "Peace President", he just played on on TV.

Dishonesty is the explanation which best describes the actions.

*Let me Google that for you.


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