President Obama Rehashes Dubious Claims About Wars

Foreign Policy Content Largely Culled From Past Speeches

If you’re wondering what President Barack Obama said about foreign policy in his State of the Union speech, there’s an extremely good chance you already heard it, in many cases word for word, and with fewer pauses for laudatory applause from the peanut gallery.

He once again claimed combat was over in Iraq, despite the number of US troops who have died in combat since he last made that announcement. He cheered how sanctions were really sticking it to the Iranian economy, without mentioning last weekend’s talks. He patted himself on the back for getting the New START Treaty through a lame duck Congress last month.

Beyond that, he lauded the Afghan War and the “enduring partnership” it was creating. Perhaps the only interesting thing, and I say this only for desperation to find something, is that he insisted troops would begin to withdraw from Afghanistan in July.

Of course, he announced the July drawdown in December, and the comments seem to be taken largely from that, but it seems that his speechwriters forget that he publicly disavowed the July 2011 drawdown date in June, and several more times since then.

Ultimately the speech was over an hour of vague references to the future and jokes about TSA patdowns, which were extremely funny to the Congressmen on hand, since they of course are exempt from those.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.