In contrast, the President's top 2012 Republican competitors... former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, media personality and businessman Herman Cain... possess no foreign policy experience whatsoever.
President Obama proudly announced in his October 22, 2011 weekly address:
"This week, we had two powerful reminders of how we’ve renewed American leadership in the world. I was proud to announce that—as promised—the rest of our troops in Iraq will come home by the end of this year. And in Libya, the death of Moammar Qadhafi showed that our role in protecting the Libyan people, and helping them break free from a tyrant, was the right thing to do...Obama Successes vs. Republican Failures
"These successes are part of a larger story. After a decade of war, we’re turning the page and moving forward, with strength and confidence. The drawdown in Iraq allowed us to refocus on Afghanistan and achieve major victories against al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. As we remove the last of our troops from Iraq, we’re beginning to bring our troops home from Afghanistan"
The bold success of President Obama's Middle East policies sharply contrast with Republican foreign policy miscalculations, including the bumbling failures of George Bush/Dick Cheney administration:
- Osama bin Laden - On May 2, 2011 by command of President Obama, U.S. Navy Seals killed international terrorist and 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden, who was hiding in Abbottabad, Pakistan. The CIA-coordinated covert operation was exquisitely executed, and resulted in bin Laden's burial at sea.
In contrast, the Bush administration wasted billions over almost eight years ineptly chasing bin Laden, with no success. Immediately after 9/11, President Bush had declared that bin Laden's capture was a top priority. In fact, a 2009 government report showed that the Bush administration bungled a late 2001 opportunity to kill bin Laden.
- Colonel Muammar Gaddafi - Brutal despot Muammar Gaddafi, Libyan dictator for 32 years, was killed on October 20, 2011 as a direct result of President Obama's leadership in forging a U.N.-based coalition to protect the Libyan people.
In March 2011, the President declared, "... we cannot stand idly by when a tyrant tells his people that there will be no mercy... where innocent men and women face brutality and death at the hands of their own government."
Republican lawmakers decried and parodied the President's Libya strategy, dubbing it "leading from behind" because the U.S. was working in concert with other countries... not taking the lead role in bombing and occupying Libya.
President Obama's successful Libya strategy proved, over only seven months, the worthiness and credibility of The Obama Doctrine on Foreign Intervention and War. Said the President, "Without putting a single U.S. service member on the ground, we achieved our objective."
"'The contrast between Bush's handling of Iraq and Afghanistan and Obama's handling of Libya is breathtaking,' said Bruce Riedel, a former CIA officer and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. 'No ground footprint, no U.S. casualties and no responsibility for the day after,'" reported the Los Angeles Times.
- Iraq War Withdrawal of U.S. Troops As he promised in his 2008 campaign, President Obama has ordered withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Iraq by the end of 2011.
"The announcement triggered some foolish criticism from neo-conservatives — who remain shamefully unapologetic for their role in unleashing this war — accused Mr. Obama of abandoning Iraq now. Mitt Romney, a Republican presidential candidate, said Mr. Obama 'unnecessarily put at risk' hard-won victories. Like most of what Mr. Romney says about national security, that was absurd," opined the New York Times on October 21, 2011.
Through September 30, 2011, nearly 4,500 U.S. military have been killed in the Iraq War, and about 33,000 gravely wounded. The Bush/Cheney-led attack on and occupation of Iraq has cost American taxpayers almost $1 trillion, much of it lost through corruption and fraud. Yet nine years later, stability and democracy remain elusive in Iraq.
When President Obama was sworn into office, 142,000 U.S. solidiers were fighting in Iraq. At the end of September 2011, only 40,00o remained. "... today, I can report that, as promised, the rest of our troops in Iraq will come home by the end of the year. After nearly nine years, America’s war in Iraq will be over," announced the President on October 21, 2011.