Barack Obama foreign policy

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Iraq

Main article: Operation Iraqi Freedom

On February 10, 2007, Barack Obama announced his campaign for the U.S. presidency while stating he had a "plan that will bring our combat troops home by March of 2008."[1] Later, Obama campaigned on having troops entirely out of Iraq within 16 months, but in February 2009 revised this promise to withdrawing all but 35-50 thousand troops by December 2011.[2] However, some of the newly withdrawn troops were simply redirected from Iraq to Afghanistan - Obama in Summer 2009 ordered 21,000 troops to Afghanistan.[3]

"But all of this cannot come to pass until we bring an end to this war in Iraq. Most of you know I opposed this war from the start. I thought it was a tragic mistake. Today we grieve for the families who have lost loved ones, the hearts that have been broken, and the young lives that could have been. America, it's time to start bringing our troops home. It's time to admit that no amount of American lives can resolve the political disagreement that lies at the heart of someone else's civil war. That's why I have a plan that will bring our combat troops home by March of 2008. Letting the Iraqis know that we will not be there forever is our last, best hope to pressure the Sunni and Shia to come to the table and find peace."

Barack Obama, February 10, 2007 Presidential Campaign Announcement Speech[1]

Ultimately, it was the Status of Forces Agreement signed by George W. Bush on November 17, 2008 which forced U.S. combat troops to withdraw from Iraq's cities, villages, and localities by June 30, 2009, and from Iraq entirely by December 31, 2011.[4] Obama privately contacted the Iraq government in an attempt to persuade them to let 10,000 troops stay, but was rejected.[5] Newsweek's Michael Ware accused Obama of a "War Crime" for "falsely taking credit for finally bringing Iraq to a close—a war actually ended by the Bush administration back in 2008" and stated, "The U.S. troops who fought and died in that war, the Iraqis who perished, and the American people deserve far better."[6] The last of Iraq's combat troops have now been withdrawn because of Bush's Status of Forces Agreement which Obama took credit for.[7]

Eygpt

During the Egyptian revolution of 2011, Obama Special Envoy Frank Wisner, Jr., flew to Egypt to persuade President Hosni Mubarak to cling to power.[8]

Bahrain

Three days after Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak resigned people in the small Gulf state of Bahrain took to the streets in the capital city of Manama. One month into the uprising, Saudi Arabia sent military and police forces across the border connecting the Saudi mainland to Bahrain. Since then, the protesters, the press and human-rights organizations have suffered increasingly violent repression. Bahrain is home of the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet, tasked with protecting the Strait of Hormuz, the Suez Canal, and supporting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.[9] Press spokesman Jim Carney stated the White House position, "This is not an invasion of a country."[10]

Nabeel Rajab, president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, stated, "Hundreds of people are in jail for practicing their freedom of expression. People are tortured for expressing their freedom of expression. Thousands of people sacked from their jobs. ... And all that, because one day, a month ago, almost half of the Bahraini population came out in the street demanding democracy and respect for human rights.”

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