In his 2008 campaign, Barack Obama was, if not particularly ideologically committed, quickly branded as the comparatively antiwar candidate. It wasn’t a hard case to make, with Sen. John McCain (R – AZ) running an intensely pro-war campaign.
But Obama’s dubious antiwar bonafides were quickly embraced internationally, where he was heralded as a peacemaker of historical proportions and, in 2009, awarded the Nobel Peace Prize just nine months into his first term in office. He hadn’t really done anything yet, and the prize was seen as an advanced award for the things he was expected to do.
Coming into his last few months in office, these expectations seem in retrospect incredibly wishful thinking, as Obama’s “peacemaking” efforts have been few and far between, and far overshadowed by the non-stop wars he has championed throughout his presidency.
Obama’s lack of ideological aversion to war, punctuated in a Nobel Peace Prize speech that was all about the necessity of American interventionism abroad, presaged a foreign policy track which began with heavy escalations of the Afghan War, and has since seen the US dragged headlong into multiple wars which, like Afghanistan, have no end in sight.
From imposing regime change in Libya, to launching wars in Iraq and Syria, Obama has driven America into some major, messy new conflicts, and with ongoing escalation in Eastern Europe and the South China Sea, seems to be laying the groundwork for more, bigger wars in the decades to come.
Those who chose to give Obama the Nobel back in 2009, based more or less entirely on what they hoped he’d do doubtless ended up with buyer’s remorse, and it’s virtually unthinkable that he’d have ended up with such an award based on his actual accomplishments.