Today's Oregonian has a pretty devastating guest editorial that lays into President Obama's national security policies. Here's a taste of it:
As a senator and presidential candidate, Barack Obama criticized President Bush's war policies. But instead of changing course, President Obama has tripled down in Afghanistan, widened the war into Pakistan, multiplied the drone attacks, bombed Yemen and Somalia, and started an undeclared NATO war in Libya.
On surveillance questions, presidential war powers, Guantanamo, detention policy and habeas corpus, he has similarly stayed the course, or even expanded Bush's precedents.
Almost none of this had anything to do with killing Osama bin Laden.
Those who voted for Obama in 2008, expecting a shift in defense policy, must face a sad fact: The United States would have likely spent less money and spilled less American and foreign blood in its wars had the president simply continued on the path charted by President Bush. Instead, we now have Bush Plus.
For the most part, I am not troubled by what President Obama is actually doing, as opposed to what he says he will do. I thought his campaign promise to close Guantanamo Bay, without articulating what he planned to do with the detainees -- release them? try them? detain them elsewhere? -- was not a very good idea. And here we are, more than two years later, and he has not closed Guantanamo. To be sure, some of that was due to Republican resistance, but as the machinations behind ObamaCare suggest, if he had really wanted to close Guantanamo, he probably could have.
In any event, I've got a new article up on SSRN that explores the ways in which the Obama Administration's counterterrorism policies either continue or deviate from its predecessors.