For those too young to remember, in 2008 President Obama campaigned against the Iraq War. By the time of the election it was virtually over, and all he could do was promise to bring the troops home. He had always said Afghanistan was the “good war,” however, hostilities there were increasing after being quiet and secure for years. Women had uncovered and were going to school, working, being elected, etc. So he dawdled and waited during the summer of 2009, and by the time he OK’d a surge, it was probably too late.
During his first term more military were lost than during Bush’s two terms. 575 US troops died in Afghanistan during the Bush presidency. By August 18, 2010, following two troop surges initiated by President Obama, that number had doubled.
When looking at a map today of how the jihadists have overrun Iraq, it’s pretty clear that everything was in place. Perhaps the return of the five was just the impetus needed since they knew Obama never wanted to be there and probably wouldn’t fight to help the Iraqis that Bush had liberated from Saddam.
In 2009 the main stream media still couldn’t lavish enough praise on their beloved president and admired him for holding back for months.
“When the history of the Obama presidency is written, that day with the chart may prove to be a turning point, the moment a young commander in chief set in motion a high-stakes gamble to turn around a losing war. By moving the bell curve to the left, Mr. Obama decided to send 30,000 troops mostly in the next six months and then begin pulling them out a year after that, betting that a quick jolt of extra forces could knock the enemy back on its heels enough for the Afghans to take over the fight.
The three-month review that led to the escalate-then-exit strategy is a case study in decision making in the Obama White House — intense, methodical, rigorous, earnest and at times deeply frustrating for nearly all involved. It was a virtual seminar in Afghanistan and Pakistan, led by a president described by one participant as something “between a college professor and a gentle cross-examiner.” “ New York Times, Dec. 5, 2009
"Today the president acknowledged that the Islamic State's advance "poses a danger to Iraq and its people, and given the nature of these terrorists, it could pose a threat eventually to American interests as well." In 2007 he promised to withdraw regardless of the danger to Iraq and its people. He kept that promise." Wall St. Journal, June 13, 2014