US politics in the 2000s
Election of 2008
On November 4, 2008, the citizens elected Barack Obama in a historic election as the first African American president in US history. In the 2008 election, Democratic senators Barack Obama and Joe Biden defeated Republican Senator John McCain and Governor Sarah Palin by winning nearly 53% of the vote. 2008 had the highest voter turnout rate in four decades.
The Iraq War, also called the Persian Gulf War consisted of two phases. The first phase was a short, conventional war fought between March and April of 2003. During this phase, American and British forces invaded Iraq and defeated Iraqi military and paramilitary forces. The second, much longer, phase followed the first and consisted if a rebellion that opposed US-led occupation of Iraq. The US began to reduce its military presence in Iraq after the violence started declining in 2007. The US formally completed its withdrawal in December 2011.
Effects of 9/11
After the 9/11 attacks, many things about the US changed. The federal government created the TSA, Transportation Security Administration, and the Aviation and Transportation Security Act shortly after the attacks. Airplane security has also changed. Additionally, President George W. Bush signed the USA PATRIOT Act less than two months after 9/1, and the government expanded the ability of the NSA, National Security Agency, to collect data on US citizens, foreign nationals, and governments. Edward Snowden revealed the extent of that expansion 2013. The trust of US citizens in their government, according to Pew Research Center, dropped to 19% in 2013 from the high trust felt directly after the 9/11 attacks. That trust has continued to be low since 2013.