My colleague Colin Wolfgang recently wrote about Pres. Obama’s speech last Wednesday, in which the president announced that US airstrikes would extend from Iraq into Syria to combat the growing threat of the terrorist group ISIS(/IS/ISIL/who-cares-what-they-call-themselves-they’re-nuts). While many, including Mr. Wolfgang, point to the speech as a turning point in the Obama administration away from isolationism, it in fact continues the Obama White House foreign policy that has been in place since he took office: namely, Pres. Obama’s policy of small- to medium-scale military intervention by another name.
Whether you call it “police action,” “counterterrorism,” “targeted airstrikes,” or any of the other Obama administration euphemisms, this White House has pursued interventionist tactics in almost every global hotspot where it has encountered national security threats. The supposed difference from the George W. Bush administration has been the absence of “boots on the ground,” despite the fact that there will now be nearly 2,000 American “advisors” and who-knows-how-many special operations and CIA agents in Iraq. While large-scale military operations such as the Bush-era wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been wound down, the United States is far from an isolationist nation.