Barack Obama

Raven Orozco

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5 facts on war on terror

  • President Obama took office in the middle of this budget year. He sent 17,000 more troops to Afghanistan in April, promising to send another 30,000 in December in addition to the 68,000 in place. He changed strategy to address Taliban and al Qaeda forces hiding in Pakistan.
  • Obama funded an orderly wind-down to end the War in Iraq. Surge forces were sent to Afghanistan, raising costs there to $91.8 billion, the highest so far.
  • Osama bin Laden was killed by special forces on May 1, 2011. Obama announced he would withdraw 10,000 troops from Afghanistan by the end of the year, and 23,000 by the end of 2012
  • The War in Afghanistan dragged on. Obama announced the withdrawal of another 23,000 troops in the summer, leaving 70,000 troops remaining. Both sides agreed to accelerate U.S. troop withdrawal to 2013 as their presence becomes more unwelcome.
  • Obama campaigned on defense reduction, dropped the phrase "War on Terror," and was even awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for pulling troops out of Iraq
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After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the Bush administration declared a worldwide "war on terror," involving open and covert military operations, new security legislation, efforts to block the financing of terrorism, and more. Washington called on other states to join in the fight against terrorism asserting that "either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists." Many governments joined this campaign, often adopting harsh new laws, lifting long-standing legal protections and stepping up domestic policing and intelligence work.


The Obama administration began to reengage in Iraq with a series of airstrikes aimed at ISIS beginning on 10 August 2014. On 9 September 2014 President Obama said that he had the authority he needed to take action to destroy the militant group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, citing the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists, and thus did not require additional approval from Congress.