Speak softly and carry a big stick. This seems to have personified President Obama’s policies for keeping the country safe. One should read the contrast in administrations handling of our security by reading The Deafness Before the Storm by Kurt Eichenwald
The President methodically continued the fight to eliminate Al-Qaeda’s leaders and operatives throughout the world without much fanfare. He did this without resorting to torture which for many years had given the United States a black eye.
While many complain about his ramped up use of American drones, he maintained their use as Americans are justifiably wary of conventional war. While it is true that these drones are not as surgical in removing those that are plotting against us, and many times their use result in the deaths of possibly innocent associates of our enemies (sadly sometimes including even innocent women and children), this is the tradeoff that the leader of a country must sometimes make. It should be noted that sending Special Forces in could just as well result in foreign and American casualties.
Inasmuch as he was ridiculed at the time, President Obama stated that if he ever had knowledge of the whereabouts of Osama Bin Laden, he would go in and take him out. He said he would do this even if he had to go into Pakistan. As it turns out Osama Bin Laden was in Pakistan and the President gave the order to go in and get him.
The president has repaired the name “United States of America” abroad. His policies encourage working as an ally with foreign governments as opposed to acting as the single dictator given our sole Super Power status. With all the problems in the world it is evident this willingness to not go it alone has borne fruit not only in Libya and Egypt but in many other ways. This indirectly makes us safer as cooperation with our allies and “friends” keep our security databases with necessary national security information.
We must not allow ourselves to go back on a war stance or give the impression that that is where we want to go. We have allowed past presidents to do this for too long. A country that remains strong but that displays respect and humility is generally a safer country. Look around the world for proof positive.
The President has kept us safe with a balance of policies adopted by past administrations and his own. As this election season gets into high gear we must ensure that no candidate will put us at risk by using our fear as pawns for potential war or a military industrial complex induced unnecessary military buildup.