16) Iraq: Not a Real Success – I am not sure if the voting public had been told by a campaigning Barack Obama that there would be a substantial U.S. military presence in Iraq throughout the first three years of his presidency that Barack Obama would have been elected president. He had created an impression in the campaign that the troops would be out of Iraq well before three years had passed.
It is also the case that Obama would not have withdrawn all of the troops by December 31, 2011, if Iraq had agreed to give U.S. forces immunity from the exercise of Iraqi law. The Pentagon wanted to keep at least 3,000 troops in Iraq and maybe as many as 15,000. So what Obama did was withdraw the troops in accordance with an agreement drawn up between George W. Bush and the then-existing Iraqi government. Some legal scholars and lawmakers believe that the agreement was equivalent to a treaty and thus should have been subject to ratification in the U.S. Senate. Obama, the former instructor in constitutional law, has proven to interpret the Constitution very loosely.
Rather than a well-functioning government, Iraq is in shambles, no matter in what sector one chooses to look.
17) Dangerous Take on Iran – A second term for Obama will keep the nation on tenterhooks regarding U.S. military attacks on Iran. Obama has not ruled out use of nuclear weapons if a “red line” is crossed. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said in a speech on December 2, 2011 that imminent or actual possession of a nuclear bomb by Iran would constitute “red lines” for a U.S. attack. A nuclear attack on Iran’s deeply buried nuclear facilities could cause as many as three million deaths according to a computer program projection.
Iranian disruption of shipping through the Strait of Hormuz would cause a major spike in oil prices and Iran can cause the United States major grief in many sorts of ways.
18) Proliferation of Overseas Military Bases Will Continue – Except for Iraq, where U.S. bases have been emptied of troops and a possible trimming of bases due to a draw down of troops from Afghanistan, there are no visible plans to reduce the large number of U.S. overseas bases. The Pentagon can’t give a specific figure for the total number of U.S. overseas military bases, due, in part, because there are a number of “lily-pad” bases with very few troops; however, the number is usually presented in terms of “over 800,” or “over 1,000.”
At least one major base will be added soon, as 2,500 U.S.Marines will be stationed in Darwin, Australia. The proposed shift of strategic military interest from the European to the Asia/Pacific theater may result in a wash between bases closed and bases opened.
What has been presented above in 18 chosen areas over a series of blogs is a projection of what a Obama second term will likely bring. The next four years will very likely be a continuation and even intensification of the policies of George W. Bush. A high percentage of the U.S. citizenry believes the nation is on the wrong track; however, when polled, the public splits almost evenly on whether the answer is more government or less government. President Barack is not likely to help them make that choice.