The news out of Iraq foreshadows what will happen in an Afghanistan suddenly emptied of U.S. and allied forces.
Given the president’s desire to withdraw from the world, you have to wonder why he hasn’t targeted the 7,000 troops in Kosovo’s Camp Bondsteel (pictured below)? The country is quiet –though it wouldn’t stay that way if the U.S. withdrew from its now nearly two-decade long commitment to peace-keeping. The answer of course is that the president’s political fortunes were served by bolting Iraq, and he sees his “legacy” bound up in unleashing a similar chaos in Afghanistan. It is an upside down view of history and leadership, especially given that the peace in Kosovo is the one long-term accomplishment of the Clinton years.
But President Obama’s view of the world –and of his “legacy”– isn’t an ordinary presidential calculation. It is radically different. And opinion polls show what Americans think of his approach to matters foreign and domestic as he enters the twilight of his presidency.