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America's 5 Worst Wartime Presidents
The National Interest ^ | 04/18/2015 | Robert W. Merry

Posted on 04/19/2015 5:26:29 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

No presidential decision is as politically hazardous as the war decision. That’s because voters are quicker and more ferocious in turning on their chief executives when wars go awry than when events become troublesome in other areas of governance. Woe be to the president who finds himself in a war he can’t win and can’t get out of, or finds that the price of war far outweighs the promised benefits, or learns that the rationale for war doesn’t hold up.

Herewith, then, a catalogue of the country’s five worst wartime presidents, men who took their country to war, or continued an inherited war, but couldn’t bring success to the war effort. In four instances, we see what kind of price they paid, or their parties paid, for their lack of success. In the fifth instance, the case of Barack Obama’s war decisions in Iraq, Afghanistan and surrounding Mideast lands, it’s still an open question what kind of price will be paid.

Of the country’s forty-four chief executives, thirteen were serious war presidents, four through inheritance and the rest through initiation. They are: Madison, Polk, Lincoln, McKinley, Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, Truman (by inheritance and initiation), Eisenhower (by inheritance), Lyndon Johnson, Nixon (by inheritance), George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush, and Obama (by inheritance).

Of these, the clear failures were Wilson, Truman, Johnson, and George W. Bush. Obama occupies a kind of middle territory, but ultimately he must be placed in the circle of those who couldn’t bring success to their wartime management. (Madison is subject of ongoing historical debate as to his success or failure as wartime president, but I consider him, on balance, more of a success than a failure, for reasons outlined in my book, Where They Stand: The American Presidents in the Eyes of Voters and Historians.)

(Excerpt) Read more at nationalinterest.org ...


TOPICS: History; Military/Veterans
KEYWORDS: presidents; wartime; worst
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1 posted on 04/19/2015 5:26:29 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

Obama occupies a kind of middle territory...
........................

What? Ha ha ha!


2 posted on 04/19/2015 5:31:44 AM PDT by ViLaLuz (2 Chronicles 7:14)
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To: SeekAndFind

George Bush did rather well. Obama completely sucked.

The Junior Varsity came in after Bush.


3 posted on 04/19/2015 5:34:08 AM PDT by eyedigress
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To: ViLaLuz

0bummer breaks new ground of “willful and deliberate treason”, as compared to the others.


4 posted on 04/19/2015 5:37:34 AM PDT by carriage_hill ( Some days you're the windshield, and some days you're just the bug.)
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To: eyedigress
From their website;

About The National Interest

Over almost three decades, The National Interest, founded in 1985 by Irving Kristol and Owen Harries, has displayed a remarkable consistency in its approach to foreign policy. It is not, as the inaugural statement declared, about world affairs. It is about American interests. It is guided by the belief that nothing will enhance those interests as effectively as the approach to foreign affairs commonly known as realism—a school of thought traditionally associated with such thinkers and statesmen as Disraeli, Bismarck, and Henry Kissinger. Though the shape of international politics has changed considerably in the past few decades, the magazine’s fundamental tenets have not. Instead, they have proven enduring and, indeed, appear to be enjoying something of a popular renaissance.

Until recently, however, liberal hawks and neoconservatives have successfully attempted to stifle debate by arguing that prudence about the use of American power abroad was imprudent—by, in short, disparaging realism as a moribund doctrine that is wholly inimical to American idealism. This has been disastrous. After the Bush administration’s failure to discover weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, it became abundantly clear that the lack of a debate in Washington was part and parcel of a larger foreign policy failing, which was the refusal to ponder the larger implications and consequences of the promiscuous use of American power abroad. A reflexive substitution of military might for diplomacy, of bellicose rhetoric for attainable aspirations, dramatically weakened rather than strengthened America’s standing around the globe. But today, as Russia, China, and Iran assess and act upon their own perceived national interests, Washington must attempt to understand those nations as they understand themselves.

This is why a return to realism has seldom been more imperative. It is notions of interdependence, the end of sovereignty, and the inutility of power that have all proven wanting in the past decade. International relations was not reinvented in 1989. While it may be an old foreign policy concept, the notion of a national interest is not an antiquarian one. On the contrary, it has never possessed more relevance than now. What actually constitutes true realism is, of course, an appropriate source of controversy. And so, on both its web site and in its print edition, The National Interest seeks to promote, as far as possible, a fresh debate about the course of American foreign policy by featuring a variety of leading authors from government, journalism, and academia, many of whom may at times disagree with each other. But it is only out of such disagreements that dogmas can be dispelled and clarity about America’s proper aims achieved. By contributing a vital stimulus towards fashioning a new foreign policy consensus based on civil and enlightened contention, The National Interest seeks to serve this country’s wider national interest.


Mildly cloaked leftist ... imo

5 posted on 04/19/2015 5:41:11 AM PDT by knarf
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To: knarf
After the Bush administration’s failure to discover weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, it became abundantly clear that the lack of a debate in Washington was part and parcel of a larger foreign policy failing

Maybe the Democraps should have voted against the resolution on IRAQ. Oh hell no. What short memories these writers have. I recall 25k per family to go into Israel and bomb yourself along with as many folks as possible.

6 posted on 04/19/2015 5:47:49 AM PDT by eyedigress
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To: eyedigress
George Bush did rather well. Obama completely sucked.

I would disagree with half of that. Bush got us into two wars without clear goals or a realistic view of what to do and what he wanted to accomplish. Obama took a bad situation and made it a whole lot worse worse.

7 posted on 04/19/2015 5:48:16 AM PDT by DoodleDawg
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To: knarf

Or, thinly veiled


8 posted on 04/19/2015 5:48:19 AM PDT by Louis Foxwell (This is a wake up call. Join the Sultan Knish ping list.)
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To: Louis Foxwell

same thing only different, but ... yeah.


9 posted on 04/19/2015 5:51:30 AM PDT by knarf
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To: eyedigress

RE: After the Bush administration’s failure to discover weapons of mass destruction in Iraq,

1) What is Weapons of Mass Destruction? People seem to equate it to only Nuclear materials and ignore CHEMICAL weapons.

2) They DID FIND Chemical Weapons, but for some strange reason, chose not to make their findings known.

We now know that LONG AFTER Bush was gone:

http://www.thepoliticalinsider.com/bombshell-new-york-times-reports-wmds-found-iraq/

and here:

http://humanevents.com/2014/10/15/the-new-york-times-discovers-wmd-in-iraq/

In this sense, GW BUsh was a failure, not because he did not defeat the enemy, but because he failed to show the vindication for his rationale for going to war in Iraq.


10 posted on 04/19/2015 5:52:06 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: DoodleDawg

George Bush responded to our World Trade centers being destroyed by Muslim extremists.

I suppose you would have a summit with John Kerry in Switzerland to understand better why God and Satan don’t get along.


11 posted on 04/19/2015 5:54:31 AM PDT by eyedigress
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To: DoodleDawg
Bush got hit with 9/11 and had to respond with almost no intell about the why

The American people wanted to make glass out of the middle east and Bush wisely (or perhaps not) decided against that

I really think he thought a strategy would develop but it never did

Bush was caught between a rock and a hard place and did as well as a sophomore could do

Reagan might not have done much different, but maybe could have codged together a better intel network/coalition

12 posted on 04/19/2015 5:56:38 AM PDT by knarf
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To: knarf

The strategy could have developed. Obama destroyed it.


13 posted on 04/19/2015 6:00:44 AM PDT by eyedigress
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To: eyedigress
George Bush responded to our World Trade centers being destroyed by Muslim extremists.

By taking it out on two countries where the 9/11 terrorists didn't come from. By getting into over a decade of occupation and by supporting two regimes who had no support from the local population. It's hard to see how he could have done a worse job...and then Obama came along.

14 posted on 04/19/2015 6:01:03 AM PDT by DoodleDawg
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To: SeekAndFind
The Illinois Butcher™ tops my list as worst.
15 posted on 04/19/2015 6:03:23 AM PDT by central_va (I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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To: knarf
Bush got hit with 9/11 and had to respond with almost no intell about the why

An early major mistake.

I really think he thought a strategy would develop but it never did

A second major mistake.

Bush was caught between a rock and a hard place and did as well as a sophomore could do

Committing U.S. troops without solid intelligence and without really knowing what they wanted to do is not doing well.

16 posted on 04/19/2015 6:03:56 AM PDT by DoodleDawg
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To: DoodleDawg

Do you have any understanding whatsoever of Iraq or Afghanistan?

If your younger than 35 just say so.


17 posted on 04/19/2015 6:04:14 AM PDT by eyedigress
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To: ViLaLuz
Obama occupies a kind of middle territory...

Obama occupies the middle territory between national socialist and soviet socialist.

18 posted on 04/19/2015 6:04:43 AM PDT by Pollster1 ("Shall not be infringed" is unambiguous.)
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To: DoodleDawg

“By taking it out on two countries where the 9/11 terrorists didn’t come from. “

Listen, non-sequitur, you retread, they didn’t come from anywhere as these terrorists operate from everywhere in the litter box. To claim we must only attack the country of their birth is just liberal nonsense you usually spout off about.


19 posted on 04/19/2015 6:05:35 AM PDT by CodeToad (Islam should be outlawed and treated as a criminal enterprise!)
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To: DoodleDawg

So where do you think OBL was at? (Osama Bin Laden)

Starbucks?


20 posted on 04/19/2015 6:06:07 AM PDT by eyedigress
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