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Posts Tagged ‘President George W. Bush’

Obama’s Impossible Choices on Iraq

June 16th, 2014

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Iraq was a bold U.S. experiment in nation-building. It turned out to be a flop.

That’s what we’re learning as we watch what the United States achieved there evaporate after nine years of war, after nearly 4,500 Americans were killed, 32,000 wounded and $800 billion in U.S. taxpayer money spent.

When George W. Bush first ran for president in 2000, he expressed contempt for nation-building. It was a point he made in rally after rally. “I’m worried about the fact I’m running against a man,” Bush said, “who uses ‘military’ and ‘nation-building’ in the same sentence.”

But what were U.S. troops doing in Iraq four years later if not nation-building?

The U.S. military can do many things supremely well. They are all military things — like fighting wars, repelling invasions and providing security. But nation-building — the task that devolved upon them in both Iraq and Afghanistan — is political, not military. And politics is not something the military can do very well. Nor should anyone expect it to.

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Bullish on November

April 6th, 2010

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This piece was originally published in Roll Call.

It is becoming clear that progressives need to lay the groundwork to claim success. No, not on health care — the benefits of which may take years to realize ­— but on the economy.

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Rosner & Bennett: Public Backs Obama as a Wartime President

March 18th, 2010

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This piece was originally published in Roll Call.

Even with Washington, D.C., consumed by fights over health care and jobs, President Barack Obama is still having to wage two real wars and the battle against an ongoing terrorist threat. A new poll says the public mostly approves how he is handling the security front.

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