“The tide of war is receding,” said President Obama earlier this morning at a press conference that announced the withdrawal of US troops in Iraq by the end of this year.
After almost nine years of fighting, the US will finally pull out of Iraq and turn to diplomacy “between sovereign nations” to dictate how the country will grow – a policy that greatly differs from that of the war hawk style of previous predecessors.
Yet, we cannot completely dismiss military prowess from the “Obama doctrine” of foreign policy.
Relying on secret operations, unmanned drone attacks and a “lead from behind” strategy, the President saw the capture of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen and even Colonel Gadhafi in Sirte.
Is this the face of modern warfare? Will the soft hand of diplomacy, rather that military might, be successful amidst renewed democracy movements around the world? If so, will they view the US in a different light? How will this reflect on President Obama domestically? Will his reelection campaign harness his successes to keep him in the White House?
Kalev Sepp, senior lecturer of defense analysis senior lecturer at the Naval Postgraduate School; former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Special Operations Capabilities
John Arquilla, professor of defense analysis at the Naval Postgraduate School
Kori Schake, associate professor of international security studies at the United States Military Academy; research fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University