U.S. President Barack Obama, surrounded by U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter (L) and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff USMC General Joseph Dunford, Jr., (R) delivers a statement from the Roosevelt Room on Afghanistan at the White House in Washington U.S. July 6, 2016. REUTERS/Gary Cameron
Paul D. Shinkman, US News and World Report: As Obama’s Tenure Ends, U.S. Wars Drag On
A series of promises to NATO, Baghdad and Kabul have solidified America’s continued war footing through the end of the Obama administration.
KABUL, Afghanistan — Defense Secretary Ash Carter's visit to Afghanistan on Tuesday completed an extensive world tour of U.S. war policy, one that began Friday at a NATO summit in Warsaw to help celebrate the Cold War-era alliance's newfound relevance before continuing on with a surprise trip to meet with counterparts in Iraq. His trek culminated here, the heart of America's longest conflict.
Along the way, Carter has solidified through promises and plans what most Americans have feared since the rise of the Islamic State group and the resurgence of Taliban aggression, both amid political upheaval throughout the region: that President Barack Obama cannot follow through on his campaign pledges to end U.S. wars in the Middle East.
In truth, these conflicts are ramping up in intensity. And from Carter's perspective, there's no immediate end in sight to America's participation.
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WNU Editor: The next President will be faced with one of three choices .... status quo, ramp up U.S. military involvement .... or leave. All three options will be costly for the next President ... and will occupy much of the next President's agenda. I am also willing to wager that the next President will be cursing President Obama privately for giving him this situation .... just as President Obama cursed and blamed President Bush for the mess he inherited when he walked into the Oval Office for the first time.