In 2009 I remember writing a piece about how Barack Obama had rose to prominence from a life spent in political and “Social Activism,” but had no experience whatsoever when it came to military or law enforcement. In this way, President Obama made for a rather “awkward” Commander in Chief of the countries Armed Forces.
On the campaign trail in 2008, then candidate Obama promised to end both Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq within his first year in office. However, as history has witnessed and this article will chronicle, under Barack Obama’s “command” new Wars erupted and old Wars worsened. As a result of this, in 2017, not only is the US still fighting in the same Wars we saw under Bush, but the country is now actively engaged in 7 different War zones – Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan Yemen, Libya and Somalia – 2 more than when George Bush was in office. This is not to mention the fact that military spending incrased under Obama and the country now pays more for National Defense than at any other time in our history.
I wish that was all, but unfortunately the list goes on. Here is a complete look at the proliferation of War and armed conflict on various continents throughout 2009 – 2016, the same time period of President Obama’s first and second term in office.
CH1. The War In Iraq & the Islamic State
Considering that the Islamic State did not exist when Obama first took office and only gained a foothold in the region after the US had “evacuated” their soldiers in 2011, the rise of the Islamic State in both Iraq and Syria is indubitably tied to “US foreign policy” decisions over that time period. As has been widely documented since, this is because when they left the country, the US Government left behind a huge power vacuum of leadership which people like the Islamic State went on to fill. As a result, the group we now refer to as ISIS remains the worlds single greatest terror threat and has gone on to spread their ideology across the Levant and into portions of Africa and Asia.
With that said, hindsight is 20/20 and I do not necessarily blame President Obama for his initial decision to withdraw troops from Iraq in 2011. In fact, it was consistently one of his core campaign promises and arguably a large part of the reason why he was elected President of the United States in the first place.
However, I would just like to point out that by choosing to re-enter troops back into Iraq a few years after originally pulling them out, Obama started his own separate conflict in the region, independent of George Bush’s original decision to enter the country in the first place. Therefore, just as Bush is blamed for Americas “first War in Iraq,” Obama is equally to blame for Americas “second War.” To date it is estimated that over 400,000 people have died as a result of armed conflict since the War(s) in Iraq first began in 2003.
CH2. The War in Afghanistan
As you witnessed from the video above, one of the campaign promises of President Obama was to officially put an end to the War in Afghanistan, something he ultimately failed to accomplish. However, not only did Obama fail to live up to this promise, but in 2017 there are more soldiers stationed in Afghanistan than there has ever been before, and the US has officially been at War with the country for 16 years now.
As for how that War is going, by every measure, progress has only continued to go backwards over the years. At the end of 2016, two separate reports were released by the United Nations, chronicling how conditions inside Afghanistan were continuing to deteriorate. According to the first report, the Taliban now owns close to 250% more territory inside Afghanistan than they did in 2001. The second report went on to become widely cited by several international Human Rights groups at the time, and explains how more civilians died as a result of armed conflict in Afghanistan in 2016 than in any other year previously.
Needless to say, 16 years into this War, things inside Afghanistan are more chaotic today than ever before and the US still lacks a clear path to victory in the country. All of this despite the fact that Obama once promised the world that the War in Afghanistan would be coming to an end by 2009, something he once also “won” a Nobel Peace Prize for “saying.”
CHP 3. Collateral Damage, Unintended Consequences & The Unlimited Use of Drone Strikes
This is an issue that hasn’t gotten a lot of press, but was something that President Obama was once forced to address during his first Term. Looking back at the totality of his Presidency, it is an indisputable fact that Barack Obama authorized more “drone strikes” than any President or military commander in US history.
Granted that Obama was the first President to have or make an arsenal of zombie robot planes at his disposal, Obama adopted this tactic to save US lives. Think about, why risk the lives of a real pilot or soldier to carry about a bombing in War Zone when you can just have a drone do it? For however “ethical” their use remains, drones indubitably save human lives – at least US Military Personnel lives, because drones exist solely to take peoples lives….
You can be automatically added to a drone kill list based on your social media activity https://t.co/nQhhSQkaSt
— Middle East Eye (@MiddleEastEye) September 22, 2017
As I will chronicle below, it has become a widely documented fact that the United States military has directly engaged civilian targets and has accidentally killed thousands of innocent people as a result. This phenomenon is also not unique to the United States, there is a term known as “collateral damage” which has been invented to define this sort of thing. However, as they say, the cover up is often worse than the crime and the real controversy surrounds how the United States defines what a “successful” Drone Target is, or how the military goes about qualifying targets in the first place.
For example, towards the end of his Presidency in 2016, The Intercept leaked “the Drone Papers,” exposing how a lack of over-site and accountability in the US Government when authorizing drone strikes had inadvertently led to a sharp increase in civilian casualties. A few months later, multiple reports from Human Rights Organizations around the world also began to emerge, allegedly exposing how the United States Government had deflated the true number of civilians killed in their air strikes over recent years.
Complete Drone Files Directory: https://theintercept.com/drone-papers/
President Obama also extended his drone program around the world, from the Middle East on down through Africa. As a result, President Obama ended up dropping bombs on 7 different countries, 2 more than George Bush bombed in his time in office.
CH 4. New Wars in Africa
Earlier in the article I referenced the fact that, statistically speaking, President Obama bombed more countries than George Bush. However, while it would be unfair to say that every War to break out on the continent over the course of the last 8 years was the fault of Barack Obama or the United States, the fact of the matter is that President Obama did make it a policy for the United States Government to at least “interfere” with, help or influence several African countries at War while he was in office.
African Foreign Policy Under Obama:
- President Obama fully supported the UN’s “intervention” in Libya and the overthrowing of Qaddafi’s Government. For years thereafter, the US then proceeded to arm and fund Libyan“rebels” on the ground to help them sustain their War against Government forces and terrorists alike – more on this towards the end of the article.
- The US supported the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak in 2011 and helped support the military coup/takeover of the country by al-Sisi in 2013, whom remains the countries President to this day. Following 2013, the United States worked closely with Sisi and the Government of Egypt in order to repair and restore the countries relationship with “the West.” However, under the rule of President Sisi, in 2017 Egypt is considered one of the worlds foremost egregious violators of human rights of any country on the planet. Moreover, a growing number of people inside Egypt outright oppose the Government and “Presidency” of Sisi, because he was never actually “elected” to the position to begin with.
- The US has increased support and funding to the Government of Kenya, which borders the conflicts in Sudan and Somalia to either side. Because of their proximity, Kenya has now taken in more refugees than any other country in the world. However, the country is now being crippled by the magnitude, weight and “debt” of all these people. Each year War continues to inch closer to Kenyas borders and in 2017 the country has been forced to close some of the worlds largest refugee camps and has already begun to carry out mass deportations. Additionally, similar in many ways to the US Presidential election of 2016, Kenya’s Presidential election in 2017 was also heavily interfered with via technological means. As a result, Kenyas Supreme Court has now become the worlds first ruling body to throw out the results of a Presidential election and demand a re-vote occur.
- Somalia exists as the “pirate capitol” of the world in our modern times, meaning that Somalia is the last place on Earth where real life sea pirates still seem to exist. However, perhaps unsurprisingly enough, the countries primary import over the course of the last decade has been terrorism. Now, just as with Yemen across the bay, War has proceeded to break out and enveloped the country. Donald Trump recently made news by increasing the number of US troops stationed in Somalia, but the decision to station “boots on the ground” there was first made by Barack Obama himself.
- Consequentially enough, War spreading throughout “the Levant” has also caused new Wars and conflicts to emerge on the continents Western front. This can be observed by social uprisings in Morrocco to new Wars against the Islamic State in Nigeria – a country which happens to be actively building the worlds largest “Drone Air Force Base” on behalf of the United States Government as we speak.
— The Intercept (@theintercept) September 29, 2016
CH 5. Leaks from Inside The CIA & NSA – Syrian Civil War
Coincidentally enough? The Syrian Civil War started the same year as the War in Libya – 2011 – and just like Libyan rebels, the Government of the United States made it their duty to support Syrian rebels. It has since been argued that Syrian rebels could have never started/fought this War to begin with or continued on fighting to this day without the direct funding of the United States Government, whom has been heavily arming, funding and training rebel soldiers ever since the War began.
In July of 2017 Donald Trump made international headlines when he announced that the United States would no longer be spending money to finance, equip or arm rebels fighting to keep fighting in the Syrian Civil War. While leaked documents had long exposed the true extend of the US’s influence on the War in Syria, Trumps announcement marked the first time that the US Government had publicly addressed or admitted culpability for their role in the whole affair.
The Amazon Washington Post fabricated the facts on my ending massive, dangerous, and wasteful payments to Syrian rebels fighting Assad…..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 25, 2017
As previously reported by The Daily Proletariat, according to statistics assembled from various human rights organizations around the world, “over the last 6 years since War first broke out in 2011, over 400,000 Syrians have died and nearly 20% of Syrian nationals have fled the country to live as refugees.” Further noting that, “as for the people who stayed, the United Nations now says that more than half of Syria’s population is in need of immediate humanitarian assistance with conditions worsening by the day.” As for why President Obama initially supported the overthrow of Bashar al-Assads Government in 2011, US interests in this War have been widely speculated on for decades.
Lastly, once again, while Donald Trump has received criticism for increasing the number of US troops fighting in Syria, the decision to move troops into the country was first made by Barack Obama himself years ago. As you might also remember, it was Obama himself whom called for and planned an increase in US troops stationed in Syria by 2017, Trump just delivered on this plan.
CH 6. Leaks from The United Arab Emirates – Libyan Civil War
I briefly touched on Libya in the Chapter on Africa above, but recent leaked documents paint a much broader picture of the US’s ultimate involvement in this War. As Barack Obama even publicly admitted to himself towards the end of his Presidency in 2016, the War in Libya was a direct result of a failed US/UN joint military intervention, ultimately ending in the assassination of Qaddafi and subsequent upheaval of the Libyan Government. Even worse, much like Iraq, the absence of Government/leadership in Libya created a power vacuum which was ultimately filled by people like the Islamic State. In 2017 a new Government has yet to take hold and not only has terrorism continued to grip the country, but terrorists are now using Libya as a base to launch attacks against surrounding African nations.
On September 15th 2017, leaked documents exposed how under Barack Obama’s command, Susan Rise, National Security Advisor under President Obama, committed violations of international law by “colluding” with the Government of the United Arab Emirates to “smuggle” arms and munitions into Libya. While we knew the US had originally supported the rebels to initiate the War, the United Nations fully embargoed weapons shipments to Libya in 2011 when War first broke out. The information leaked in September 2017 is so damning because it shows the full lengths to which the US Government and their allies are willing to go to spread War. For example, breaking international law, ignoring the United Nations and working through back-channels to bypass internationally negotiated treaties.
— Daily Proletariat (@The_Proletarius) September 15, 2017
All politics aside, President Obama is largely considered a kind, charming and charismatic man. However, for all the reasons mentioned above, I think it is time to start re-thinking how we define Obama’s time in office and the legacy he left behind. Despite once winning the Nobel Prize for peace and publicly taking stances against War, no one man has done more to proliferate the spread of violence and armed conflict on multiple continents than Barack Obama between 2009 – 2017. This is also why that whether he ever “intended” to be or not, Barack Obama remains perhaps the biggest Warlord of our modern times.
Moreover, from US troops dying in Yemen, to 4,000 additional troops being deployed to Afghanistan, to increased troops in Syria and Iraq, to the Kurdish separation vote, to contentious talks with Turkey, to tensions with North Korea, for however flawed his policies may be in their own right, Donald Trump is largely only reacting to problems first created for him by Barack Obama over the course of the last 8 years.
This article was produced under an Alt_Publishers License Agreement