November 30th, 2009
11:44 AM ET

Obama faces risk of a wartime presidency

President Obama greets U.S. troops on a visit to South Korea.

Julian E. Zelizer
Special to CNN

President Obama is taking a huge step in his presidency. After weeks of careful deliberation, the president has sided with military officials who have been pushing for an escalation of U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

Explaining his objectives and exit strategy, Obama is expected to announce that he will be sending 30,000 troops, and possibly more, into the region.

With this decision, Obama inches closer to becoming a wartime president. Even though the White House insists that they will continue to work hard on their domestic agenda, historically, presidents who become involved in protracted ground wars find that their presidencies are defined by their military conflicts. The politics that surround a military operation play an enormous role in the political success or failure of an administration.

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soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. vickey

    i thought President Obama was going to remove troops slowly

    November 30, 2009 at 12:49 pm |
  2. Tim Gibson

    It remains to be seen if there is such a thing as victory in the health care reform debate and what will actually come to be in more government tenacles sweeping into our private business scene in anything other than an observer and not as an actual business owner itself.

    Yes, Obama will become a wartime president, a war without success in a land we fail to understand or have the ability to acheive anything other than prolonged fighting and certain death for our military as well as to those on foreign soil. Our budget for war is overdrawn as is our budget as a whole. Yet Pelosi seems to think that funds for continued conflict can be printed fresh and daily, as is the force behind our political wheel in this administration, printed fresh, printed daily. After all these are unusual times.

    November 30, 2009 at 12:32 pm |