By Ivan Eland
During his tenure so far, Obama has used air power to oust Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, surged American forces in Afghanistan to satisfy the U.S. military, re-entered the civil war in Iraq, and extended the bombing to Syria. He found and killed Osama bin Laden, which George W. Bush was not focused enough to do for seven years, and also expanded Bush's drone wars against terrorists in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia. Obama's "pivot to Asia" really means beefing up U.S. alliances and military presence to run a neo-containment policy against a rising China. Finally, Obama is augmenting military forces and conducting more NATO exercises in Eastern Europe in response to Russia's mischief in Ukraine.
By historical standards, Obama is a practitioner of militaristic activism. Yet, he is not the first president to suffer from a misplaced label of weakness. Remember George H.W. Bush? George W. Bush's father won two smashing military victories, the invasion of Panama and the massive Desert Storm, in only four years as president -- only to be deemed a "wimp" anyway. The elder Bush intervened more and on a larger scale for his time in office than did Ronald Reagan, who had the most macho image of any president Teddy Roosevelt. [more...]