Military Initiatives by President Obama
This chapter provides the strategic context of Obama's presidency in regard to military interventions and the considerable constitutional questions raised by his actions. In 2011, Obama decided to use military force against Libya for the ostensible purpose of protecting civilians threatened by President Muammar Qaddafi. The analysis commences with a review of Obama's articulation of constitutional principles regarding presidential use of military force in the Middle East and highlights differences in approach and substance compared to Bush, his predecessor. The chapter examines in greater depth Obama's approach to Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and the Islamic State. The United States and its allies achieved major military victories against the Taliban in Afghanistan, but the problem became building within the Afghan government a capacity for self-government and an armed force capable of defeating future terrorist initiatives. The administration maintained that Iraq tried to purchase uranium oxide from a country in Africa.