Article by Anthony Gregory. This is what I was telling all of my liberal and progressive friends back in 2008.
If in 2008 someone had said that Obama’s war policy would be more belligerent and costlier than another round of Bush’s, nearly no one would have believed it. Bush started a preventive war in Iraq, killing hundreds of thousands without any credible correlation to U.S. security, except perhaps a very negative one. He turned a hunt for bin Laden into an excuse to stumble around in Afghanistan at great cost without any clear idea of how the war and occupation were going to improve the situation there. He spent a trillion dollars, just in direct costs, and lost 4,000 American troops in these aggressive and endless wars.
Obama came along and promised to make it all better. Before he was a U.S. senator, he opposed the U.S. war in Iraq. As a presidential candidate, he vowed to exercise more restraint and wind down the U.S. presence in Iraq.
At the same time, Obama pledged to “refocus America on the greatest threat to our security—the resurgence of al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan” and to “deploy at least two additional combat brigades” to that theater of war. Some pro-peace Obama voters rationalized this one way or another, saying the Afghanistan war was less unreasonable than Iraq, or that Obama was just trying to get elected and would prove a more peaceful president overall than Bush (or McCain).
In my new Independent Institute policy report, “What Price War? Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Costs of Conflict,” I assess the numbers and come to a disturbing conclusion: The heightened conflict in Afghanistan has in a sense offset the decline of hostilities in Iraq, a decline we could have expected anyway, and in all other areas of foreign policy and national security, Obama has essentially continued and expanded Bush-era policies.