National Security

“Obama’s Wars: What Now?”

Even an ideological partner could see that a victorious President Obama faces a world of distress. From a powerful China in Pacific to an unwilling Iran, which shows no sign in the face of international especially Israel’s pressure to “kill” its nuclear program. The other side of this trouble comprises of complex and crucial alliances in the Arab world. In the midst of upheaval and chaos in in Syria, Iraq and Libya, Afghanistan still is an exceptionally weak nation to handle the dangerous consequences of “Great Games”. While every Nixon has Kissinger, President Obama’s leadership has been consumed with his own-reelection campaign for the past eighteen months”, and thus remarkably failed to combine his valuable skill to convince with the idea of US peace with the world. After so many wars, and in the company of dislikes, disagreements and a deepening economic crisis, it would become the most serious challenge for Obama’s new mandate to lead the world. So the only question is what now?

In his election speech President Obama stated that, “the road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even in one term, but America….There will be setbacks and false starts. There are many who won’t agree with every decision or policy…To those who would tear the world down – we will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security – we support you…” The ensuing analysis of Obama’s speech tailors maximum exoneration to already fragmented leadership of the US.  Besides using pretext to present an advance excuse of launching military operations if the future US policy suffers from paralysis of consensus and thereby summon warning for future wars. The rhetoric of peace and stability is jointly placed in terms of defending America, rather than mounting efforts to disengage from war-torn regions in the Muslim world.

The climate change is another important cause of security threat that the mainland America is facing. The devastation and destruction that the people and infrastructure suffered at the hands of superstorm Sandy shows that no resourceful and powerful government of the world can administrate or control the consequences of natural catastrophe. President Obama might have avoided defeat against Mitt Romney, but sending more troops to combat missions in the Middle East or Asia pacific could only demonstrate belligerence and incite terrorist network to operate under anti-American sentiments. This reflection is compounded by the complexity that the US may never have another peace time president, simply because “since September 11, 2001, the president has been able to threaten or use military force to achieve a range of foreign policy objectives with few checks and balances or sustained media coverage – to an extent unprecedented in U.S. history. Anything short of deploying large numbers of U.S. ground troops is tolerated, and any executive branch justification for using lethal force is broadly accepted, including the notion that such military operations can continue in perpetuity”.

It is the details of these facts that and setbacks to peace that the character of the President Obama is emerged as indecisive and negligent in tackling Afghan conflict and establishing peace between Israel and Palestine. No matter how strong a leader is; delegating powers and negotiating peace during war are considered two of the most crucial traits. Without establishing a realistic balance of forces in Afghanistan and in the Middle East region, the largest threat of grand war is looming over the world. As a result, overcoming economic crisis at home and in Europe has scandalizing effects on the first black American President. It is an appealing hypothesis that understanding the security requirements of the world is personalized with the weakness of a US President or with his victory during the wartime. Yet the President Obama must rise out of harsh realities of downgraded status of the US as Superpower, but for that purpose to be served, the President must present himself as a source of “unity” – another factor that appears to be the central reason of his failure in dealing with changing competitive environment. When forced by the popular opinion, the US remains at the bottom end in the Muslim world, especially in Pakistan. It is here where one meets with an unprecedented reality where a leader comprehensively fails in focusing on the most important problems, which just become crises because a timely stimulus was not being provided. In the case of Pakistan, this has led to tightening of diplomatic concessions to allays, and by extension green lighting the unfriendly and hostile forces to create chaos, havoc and divisions in sociopolitical structures of Pakistan.

To be concluded, President Obama’s wars and current policies is sharply in contrast with the peace making claims of the only Superpower, hence solving Afghan conflict and addressing the concept of modern military interventionism may not be an ideal choice for the current US government. Every country expects no less than progress, peace and prosperity from their presidents, as Harry S. Truman famously said, “The buck stops here”. This is best example of turning Obama’s wars into “Obama’s peace” because taking credit of victory and support of the American people cannot automatically warranty discount on “bad economic and security policies”, and therefore requires a complete US policy shift to take the responsibility of failures in Afghanistan, Iraq; Syria and in the Middle East peace process. Like it is stated at the back cover of President Obama’s autobiography, “a leader focuses on the most important problems, even if they are the hardest”. President Obama has yet to demonstrate that he possesses a clear vision for the world peace in his final term in office and, keeps his word of supporting those who seek peace and stability.

By Rana Athar Javed

The author is a Denmark-based National Security Expert and Defence Analyst.