Foreign policy is of the utmost importance. Especially because we are the United States, our foreign policy basically decides the fate of the rest of the world. In terms of specific foreign policy, I spent this unit learning about the United States foreign policy when it comes to ISIS, and how the Obama administration allowed the extremist group to rise. While many of the ignite presentations focused on foreign policies from the past, my topic was more recent. My presentation focused on the 4 mistakes that the Obama administration made when it came to the stalling of the rise of ISIS, and maybe the complete destruction of the terror group. Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham analyzed the 4 key decisions that Obama failed to make that led to the chaos that is now ISIS. The first key decision the Obama made was failing to leave a residual force in Iraq in 2011. The Iraqi government made a request to the United States to have a limited number of U.S. troops stay in Iraq as a non-combat mission. Having the troops stay in Iraq would have allowed for a constant American presence, allowing them to keep the Iraqi prime minister in check and support Iraqi troops. Because of lack of American presence, and therefore the lack of American stability Iraq went into a state of chaos and the threat of ISIS grew. The second decision Obama failed to make was in the summer of 2012, when he rejected his national securities team’s recommendation to arm and train elements of the moderate Syrian opposition. At this time extremist and al-Qaeda forces, the terror groups that formed ISIS, were weak. The balance of power favored the moderate Syrian opposition at this time, and gave them a better opportunity to be successful against the fight on what came to be ISIS.The third failed decision was not to strike the Assad regime in September of 2013. Assad crossed President Obama’s own red line, and used chemical weapons against the Syrian people. The proposal for airstrikes were favored by many, and many thought that was the decision that was going to be made, but the issue was then just referred to Congress and left unresolved. The decision not to launch the airstrikes went against in U.S.’s moral obligation. Our inaction destroyed credibility with Arab partners and damaged the confidence of American allies. It also allowed Assad to accelerate his sectarian war. The fourth and final decision that Obama made was the refusal to launch targeted strikes against ISIS. ISIS was quickly strengthening and creating more and more training camps. The training camps were out in the open, making it easier to hit them with airstrikes.This action was to prevent the expansion of ISIS. Right after the decision was made not to launch the strikes ISIS launched operations in Fallujah and Ramadi, taking control of broad areas in Syria and Iraq.
My presentation was a criticism of the Obama administration, something I did not think that my peers would be thrilled about. Due to the character of our new president, the Obama administration has been glorified. Because of all of the things President Trump has said, and because of the ideas he has proposed, many people who strongly disagree with him have begun to glorify the accomplishments of the Obama administration. While Obama is a fantastic person, a kind and charismatic man, his accomplishments were not fantastic. In his 8 years as president there have not been that many changes and improvements to U.S. Foreign policy. Specifically, the terror threat to the United States has grown while he is in office. The research I conducted suggested that because former President Obama did not make the key decisions, ISIS had the ability to rise into the terror group it is today. If Obama had made those key decisions, the terror threat world wide might be less today, another example of how important the United States foreign policy is to the well-being of the entire planet.