The Economist has a new issue with Barack Obama in an airmen uniform and details how the president defined by reluctance to engage abroad is now back into a Middle East war that will define America for years to come.
“A president who has always seen his main mission as nation-building at home is now using military force in six countries — Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia,” The Economist writes.
The article notes that while George W. Bush’s rash intervention brought the U.S. into Iraq, Obama’s “studious inaction” indirectly facilitated the challenge now facing the world lone superpower.
“When Syrians rose up against the regime of Bashar Assad, the president stood back in the hope that things would sort themselves out — leaving Mr Assad free to commit atrocities against his own people. Even when Mr Assad crossed ‘the red line’ of using chemical weapons, the superpower did not punish him. About 200,000 Syrians have died and 10m have been driven from their homes. Denied early American support, the moderate Syrian opposition has fragmented, leaving the field to the ruthless and well-organised IS.”
Before airstrikes on ISIS oil facilities last night, the US had conducted 20 strikes against ISIS-held targets in Syria since Monday. Military forces have also carried out nearly 200 airstrikes against the group in Iraq.
The Economist cautions that “if America comes to be seen by Sunni Arabs as nothing more than a Shia air force, strikes will only bind [ISIS] to the local people.”
But overall, the magazine supports the mission.
“Although the mission to stop IS will be long and hard, it is one that no other nation could even contemplate,” The economist writes. “Mr Obama is right to relaunch it. Now he must see it through. “
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.