President Donald Trump is scaling back military exercises in Korea, calmly and humorously building a rapport with the world’s youngest nuclear power, and making a remarkably hasty exit from Syria. He seems far more deserving of the Nobel Peace Prize than Barack Obama.
Nobel Prize Committee Regrets 2009 Obama Award
In 2015 Nobel Prize secretary Geir Lundestad said that Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize “didn’t achieve what it [the Nobel Prize Committee] had hoped for.”
No Nobel Peace Prize award had ever drawn so much publicity. Or scrutiny.
Even many of Obama’s supporters thought the award was premature: It was given to Obama a few mere months into his term – and before he had really done anything.
It was a big stretch to give Obama the Nobel peace prize for his “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between people” in 2009.
Obama Waged More War Than George W. Bush
In his first term as president Obama had drastically increased the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan several times higher than when Bush II was president.
Obama famously presided over the “troop surge” that wound up being a bust. Credit: BBC | U.S. Dept. of Defense
And Obama massively increased the number of controversial drone bombing missions that began under George W. Bush, and killed civilians in Pakistan, Yemen, and Syria.
And he rewrote the rules of engagement to leave the U.S. DOD and CIA ultimately unaccountable for confirming they are not killing civilians.
On top of that Obama opened up U.S. war fronts in three more countries: Libya, Somalia, and Syria.
In Libya, the U.S. fomented and militarily supported the coup d’etat of a relatively stable, secular, U.S.-allied dictatorship. He put U.S. troops’ boots on the ground in Somalia. And then he put boots on the ground in Syria.
Washington’s Dystopian Forever Wars
What president since Jimmy Carter has exercised more restraint in U.S. military policy or moved the world closer to peace than Donald Trump?
Obama, the Clintons, Reagan, and Kings George I & II kept the United States military fighting in foreign territorial disputes and civil wars halfway around the world for 34 out of the 36 combined years of their administrations.
Under the direction of these presidents, U.S. foreign policy has been a horrific amalgam of every dystopian 20th-century novelist’s worst nightmares:
Kafka, Orwell, Heller, and Huxley all rolled up into one.
Gallingly and incredibly, these presidents have led the U.S. federal government to:
1) actually foment some of these conflicts, 2) suddenly and inexplicably switch sides, 3) and even fight on both sides of a foreign conflict at the same time!
A History of Violence
President Obama shaking hands with Gaddafi before he signed off on the NATO operation to have the Libyan head of state killed. Photo: Reuters / Alessandro Bianchi
The U.S. fomented the 2011 revolution in Libya and supported it with airstrikes, a sudden an inexplicable switching of sides against the relatively stable, secular government of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, who had been a U.S. ally in the War on Terror since 2001.
The U.S. fought on both sides of Syria’s civil war at the same time. The U.S. swept Saddam Hussein to power in the first place, supported him militarily under Reagan, and even green-lighted his annexation of Kuwait, before invading Iraq twice, once by each Bush.
The Taliban and many Muslim extremists in Afghanistan and Pakistan also had billions of dollars funneled to them by the Washington political-military-industrial complex during the Reagan years before these countries became fodder for relentless U.S. bombing campaigns.
Donald Trump Is Ending Wars
Donald Trump has made efforts at peace with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un over the course of two historic summits. Source: Saul Loeb / AFP
There is no candidate more deserving of the Nobel Peace Prize than the one who has measurably reduced the amount of armed conflict in the world by the most.
Although he isn’t perfectly peaceful (Donald Trump has fired cruise missiles in Syria, surged troop levels there before starting the withdrawal, wants to build more nukes, and is actually dropping more bombs than Obama did), Donald Trump is decreasing the number of people involved in violent conflict by more than anyone in Korea, Syria, Afghanistan, and Yemen.
NBC News, USA Today, and The Atlantic say Trump’s talks with Kim Jong Un have “collapsed” and been “unproductive.” But the real news is Trump has just ended decades of very threatening and provocative annual joint-military exercises with South Korea.
The U.S. and South Korea would conduct these practice invasions of North Korea mere miles away from North Korea’s border. According to a CNN report from Friday:
“The United States and South Korea are expected to announce in the coming days that annual military exercises between the two nations are to be scaled back…
“The large-scale military exercises… had been scheduled for this spring. Now… the US and South Korea will instead conduct scaled down exercises at a small unit level that could involve virtual training.”
So Trump just scaled back this:
To a bunch of South Korean and American soldiers playing video games.
Meanwhile, the U.S. is withdrawing from Syria and targeting an April exit date. That is insanely fast for the U.S. federal government and the United States military.
Obama strung us along for years with false promises about closing the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and getting the United States out of nation-building military occupations in the Middle East.
He and his apologists told us these things take time.
But if Donald Trump can get the U.S. out of Syria this fast, where it occupies 33 percent of the country’s territory, an area the size of Louisiana, then Obama could have waged a lot more peace and a lot less war as president if he had really wanted to.