Obama’s General Assembly Of Broken Promises

- September 19, 2016

While Obama Gives His Last U.N. General Assembly Speech Today, He Leaves A Legacy Of Broken Promises


  • At his first address before the U.N. General Assembly in 2009, Obama promised to change the status quo and restore global stability; in the twilight of his presidency, all he's delivered are broken promises.

  • Obama and Clinton failed to end the war in Iraq responsibly, pursuing a hasty troop withdrawal that has led to chaos and fueled the growth of ISIS.

  • Obama and Clinton failed to build the capacity of the Afghanistan government due to a mismanaged and hasty withdrawal from the country.

  • Obama failed to defeat Al-Qaeda and its extremist allies, which have gained safe havens and grown more deadly.

  • Obama failed to hold North Korea accountable as it has continued to violate international law and pursue an illicit nuclear weapons program.

Today, President Obama Will Give His Final Address To The UN General Assembly. "President Obama will push world leaders to do more to meet the needs of the world's swelling throngs of refugees on Tuesday, telling the United Nations that the entire world has a responsibility to help families displaced by war and persecution." (Gregory Korte, "Obama, In Final Visit To United Nations, To Focus On Refugees," US News , 9/19/16)

During His First UN General Assembly Speech, President Obama Warned Of Rising Global Instability And Promised To Change The Status Quo. OBAMA: "Consider the course that we're on if we fail to confront the status quo: Extremists sowing terror in pockets of the world; protracted conflicts that grind on and on; genocide; mass atrocities; more nations with nuclear weapons; melting ice caps and ravaged populations; persistent poverty and pandemic disease. I say this not to sow fear, but to state a fact: The magnitude of our challenges has yet to be met by the measure of our actions." (Barak Obama, Remarks By The President To The United Nations General Assembly , New York, New York, 9/23/09)

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Obama Promised He Was Responsibly Ending The War In Iraq As U.S. Troops Withdrew From The Country . OBAMA: "In Iraq, we are responsibly ending a war. We have removed American combat brigades from Iraqi cities, and set a deadline of next August to remove all our combat brigades from Iraqi territory. And I have made clear that we will help Iraqis transition to full responsibility for their future, and keep our commitment to remove all American troops by the end of 2011." (Barak Obama, Remarks By The President To The United Nations General Assembly , New York, New York, 9/23/09)

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  • Hillary's State Department Was Originally Charged With Controlling Over 1/3rd Of The Transition Programs In Iraq Including Key Security Programs And Missions. "State Department officials initially planned for taking control of more than a third of the 1,300 programs and missions run by the Pentagon in Iraq. That alone, as Clinton herself would acknowledge, constituted the 'largest transition from military to civilian leadership since the Marshall Plan,' the extensive U.S. aid effort after World War II. Contingency plans created in 2010 envisioned taking over key security missions, such as the tribal reconciliation program. Another initiative called for building new diplomatic and intelligence outposts around the country to give the United States a presence in cities that once hosted American military bases. These facilities, called 'Enduring Presence Posts,' or EPPs, were initially planned for five Iraqi locales: Irbil, Diyala province, Kirkuk, Basra and Mosul." (Jeff Gerth/ProPublica and Joby Warrick, "Promises Unfulfilled: How A State Department Plan To Stabilize Iraq Broke Apart," The Washington Post , 8/15/16)

Obama And Clinton Did Not End The War In Iraq Responsibly, As ISIS And Instability Quickly Replaced U.S. Troops

Earlier This Year, The UN Released A Report About The "Severe And Extensive Impact On Civilians," Stemming From The Ongoing Iraqi Conflict. "A UN report released today details the severe and extensive impact on civilians of the ongoing conflict in Iraq, with at least 18,802 civilians killed and another 36,245 wounded between 1 January 2014 and 31 October 2015. Another 3.2 million people have been internally displaced since January 2014, including more than a million children of school age." ("Staggering Civilian Death Toll In Iraq," United Nations, 1/19/16)

  • The UN Said The Levels Of Violence Suffered By Civilians Was "Staggering." "The violence suffered by civilians in Iraq remains staggering. The so-called 'Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant' (ISIL) continues to commit systematic and widespread violence and abuses of international human rights law and humanitarian law. These acts may, in some instances, amount to war crimes, crimes against humanity, and possibly genocide,' the report states." ("Staggering Civilian Death Toll In Iraq," United Nations, 1/19/16)

Prior To The Troop Withdrawal, There Was No ISIS And It's Precursor "Continued To Struggle To Maintain Relevance." "Through 2011, Coalition forces continued to coordinate efforts with tribal security forces, killing the majority of AQI's leadership and leaving it in general disarray. [60] Both Masri and Baghdadi were killed in a joint U.S.-Iraqi raid on April 18, 2010. After the April raid, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (not to be confused with the deceased, Abu Umar al-Baghdadi) assumed control of an AQI severely weakened by local backlash and coalition and local security forces. [61] AQI continued to struggle to maintain relevance through 2011, when Coalition forces withdrew." ("The Islamic State," Stanford University's Mapping Militant Organizations, 4/4/16)

As The U.S. Was Preparing To Withdraw Troops From Iraq "Senior American And Iraqi Officials Are Expressing Concern That Al Qaeda's Offshoot Here … Is Poised For A Deadly Resurgence." "As the United States prepares to withdraw its troops from Iraq by year's end, senior American and Iraqi officials are expressing growing concern that Al Qaeda's offshoot here, which just a few years ago waged a debilitating insurgency that plunged the country into a civil war, is poised for a deadly resurgence." (Michael Schmidt and Eric Schmitt, "Leaving Iraq, U.S. Fears New Surge Of Qaeda Terror," The New York Times , 11/5/11)

Before The War In Syria, ISIS, "Laid The Foundation For The Group's Resurgence" And Weened Off Funding From Al-Qaeda. "But even before the civil war in Syria presented him with a growth opportunity, Mr. Baghdadi had been taking steps in Iraq - something akin to a corporate restructuring - that laid the foundation for the group's resurgence, just as the Americans were leaving. He picked off rivals through assassinations, orchestrated prison breaks to replenish his ranks of fighters and diversified his sources of funding through extortion, to wean the group off outside funding from Al Qaeda's central authorities." (Tim Arango and Eric Schmitt, "U.S. Actions In Iraq Fueled Rise Of A Rebel," The New York Times , 8/10/14)

Deputy Secretary Of State Thomas Nides Said That Once Obama Made The Decision To Withdraw Troops The Civilian Presences Had To Be Reduced. " 'The president made the decisions on the military drawdown, and it was the president's directive that we were all executing,' Nides said. 'On the civilian side, the White House's big worry was the security of our people. Once the decision was made that we weren't going to have the authority to keep our military there - and even before it was made - we knew we not only couldn't afford to keep growing, but we had to reduce. At one point, we had the biggest civilian footprint in the world.'" (Jeff Gerth and Joby Warrick, "Promises Unfulfilled: How A State Department Plan To Stabilize Iraq Broke Apart," The Washington Post and ProPublica , 8/15/16)

  • President Obama's Senior Advisers Found The Cost Of Securing Diplomatic Enclaves In Iraqi Cities As Too High. "The cost of building, equipping and securing diplomatic enclaves in Iraqi cities such as Mosul - a hotbed of Sunni terrorism in 2011 - struck senior Obama aides in the meetings as exorbitantly expensive and impractical, even more so because of Maliki's growing antipathy toward U.S. interference in Iraq's domestic affairs, according to current and former aides who participated in the private discussions." (Jeff Gerth and Joby Warrick, "Promises Unfulfilled: How A State Department Plan To Stabilize Iraq Broke Apart," The Washington Post and ProPublica , 8/15/16)

Even Vital Military Personnel Needed To Support Counterterrorism Efforts, Characterized As "Vital" By The Pentagon, "Began To Shrinking Almost Immediately After The Troop Withdrawal." "On Jan. 1, 2012, the first day after the U.S. troop era officially ended, 157 American military service personnel remained in Iraq as part of the State Department-run Office of Security Cooperation in Iraq. Pentagon and State Department officials sought and won authorization to expand the number by nearly twofold, from 157 to about 300, to be backed by a supporting cast of thousands of contract workers, according to documents and former officials. Pentagon budget documents in early 2012 called the unit vital to counterterrorism efforts, facilitating the sharing of intelligence between military and civilian agencies in both the United States and Iraq. Among other missions, it provided support for Iraq's elite terrorism-fighting unit, known as the Counter Terrorism Service. But the program began shrinking almost immediately after the troop withdrawal, former Pentagon officials remembered. 'It started going away,' remembered Winters, the former deputy director." (Jeff Gerth and Joby Warrick, "Promises Unfulfilled: How A State Department Plan To Stabilize Iraq Broke Apart," The Washington Post and ProPublica , 8/15/16)

In 2011, Clinton "Strongly Defended President Obama's Plan To Withdraw Combat Troops From Iraq." "Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Sunday strongly defended President Obama's plan to withdraw combat troops from Iraq by the end of the year and issued a pointed warning to Iran not to underestimate the United States' commitment to stability in the region." (Sheryl Gay Stolberg, "Clinton Defends Iraq Withdrawal Plan," The New York Times, 10/23/11)

  • The New York Times Headline: "Clinton Defends Iraq Withdrawal Plan" (Sheryl Gay Stolberg, "Clinton Defends Iraq Withdrawal Plan," The New York Times, 10/23/11)


Obama Promised To Help Stabilize Afghanistan. OBAMA: "In Afghanistan and Pakistan, we and many nations here are helping these governments develop the capacity to take the lead in this effort, while working to advance opportunity and security for their people. (Barak Obama, Remarks By The President To The United Nations General Assembly , New York, New York, 9/23/09)

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As Secretary Of State In 2011, Clinton Testified Before The Senate Foreign Relations Committee That Obama Had "Hit The Mark" With His Decision To Withdraw All Troops From Afghanistan By The End Of His Presidency. SENATOR BOB CORKER (R-TN): "Let me ask you, do you a hundred-percent agree with what the president had to say last night?" CLINTON: "Yes, I do." CORKER: "In every facet?" CLINTON: "Yes, I do, Senator. And this was an -- a very open, candid discussion within the national security team. Obviously, people forthrightly presented their own views. It will not surprise you that the views ranged across the spectrum about what should be done and what should not be done. But I think that the president, you know, with his decision, has hit the mark." (Committee On Foreign Relations, U.S. Senate, Hearing, 6/23/11)

Afghanistan Is Currently On The Brink Of Chaos After Obama And Clinton's Ill-Advised Troop Withdrawal

Afghanistan Suffered A Catastrophic Election Dispute In 2014 And Will Not Meet A Deadline For Free And Fair Elections Imposed By Secretary Of State John Kerry. "The end of September is the deadline for the government to meet the commitments of a political deal brokered by Secretary of State John Kerry after the catastrophic 2014 election dispute. By then, Afghanistan is supposed to hold parliamentary elections, enact sweeping electoral reforms, and amend the Constitution to create the position of prime minister for Mr. Ghani's election rival and current governing partner, Abdullah Abdullah. But staying on schedule was already impossible many months ago, and Mr. Kerry has publicly insisted that Mr. Ghani's government will remain through the end of its five-year term, regardless." (Mujib Mashal, "Afghanistan Is in Chaos. Is That What Hamid Karzai Wants?" The New York Times, 8/5/16)

Security In The Country Is Worsening. "That is just the beginning. The country's security situation is worsening, despite the American military's increased involvement in the fighting. The Taliban have seized many districts, and they threaten to take many more." (Mujib Mashal, "Afghanistan Is in Chaos. Is That What Hamid Karzai Wants?" The New York Times, 8/5/16)

Afghanistan Is Falling Into Deeper Turmoil As The Taliban Threatens Security. "Meanwhile, Afghanistan is sliding deeper into political turmoil, with Taliban insurgents threatening to seize major cities and more than 1 million people internally displaced by conflict. Many Afghans are becoming new refugees as they leave the country in their greatest numbers since the 2001 U.S.-led invasion." (Zulfiqar Ali, "Afghan Refugees In Pakistan Forced To Leave The Country In Response To Get-Tough Measures," The Los Angeles Times, 8/31/16)

In June 2011, Obama Announced His "Substantial Withdrawal [Plan] Of American Troops" From Afghanistan. "President Obama declared Wednesday that the United States had largely achieved its goals in Afghanistan, setting in motion a substantial withdrawal of American troops in an acknowledgment of the shifting threat in the region and the fast-changing political and economic landscape in a war-weary America." (Mark Landler and Helene Cooper, "Obama Will Speed Pullout From War In Afghanistan," The New York Times, 6/22/11)

Marine Lt. General John Allen: Obama's Withdrawal Plan From Afghanistan "Was Not" One Of The Options The Military Had Presented. SENATOR LINDSAY GRAHAM (R-SC): "All right. Now let's talk about counterinsurgency. The option that the country has chosen through President Obama is to withdraw 10,000 this year - all surge forces gone by September. Is it fair to say, General Allen, that was not one of the options presented to the president by General Petraeus?" GENERAL JOHN ALLEN: "It is a more aggressive option than that which was presented." GRAHAM: "My question is was that an option?" ALLEN: "It was not." (Armed Services Committee, U.S. Senate, Hearing, 6/28/11)

Top Military Commanders Criticized The Obama Administration's Withdrawal Schedule As "Aggressive." "Top military commanders told members of Congress on Thursday that President Barack Obama's scheduled withdrawal of 33,000 'surge' troops from Afghanistan by next summer is more 'aggressive' than the Pentagon initially proposed." ("Afghan Withdrawal More 'Aggressive' Than Military Proposed," CNN, 6/24/11)

  • CNN Headline: "Afghan Withdrawal More 'Aggressive' Than Military Proposed" ("Afghan Withdrawal More 'Aggressive' Than Military Proposed," CNN, 6/24/11)


President Obama Promised To Defeat al-Qaeda And Its Extremist Allies. OBAMA: "We have set a clear and focused goal: to work with all members of this body to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al Qaeda and its extremist allies -- a network that has killed thousands of people of many faiths and nations, and that plotted to blow up this very building." (Barak Obama, Remarks By The President To The United Nations General Assembly , New York, New York, 9/23/09)

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Obama Promised To Eliminate Safe Havens For Extremists. OBAMA: "We will permit no safe haven for al Qaeda to launch attacks from Afghanistan or any other nation." (Barak Obama, Remarks By The President To The United Nations General Assembly , New York, New York, 9/23/09)

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Al-Qaeda And Its Extremist Allies Continue To Wreak Havoc Around The World

While ISIS Dominates Headlines, Al Qaeda Is Making A Resurgence, Grabbing Territory And Increasing Attacks. "Intelligence analysts paid close attention last month when al Qaeda's master bombmaker, Ibrahim al Asiri - whose name tops U.S. kill lists - issued an audiotape from his hiding place…In 2016, however, a resurgent al Qaeda is emerging from the shadows. While ISIS has been soaking up headlines, its older sibling has been launching attacks and grabbing territory too, and U.S. intelligence officials tell NBC News they are increasingly concerned the older terror group is poised to build on its achievements." (Ken Dilanian, "Al Qaeda Makes A Comeback," NBC News, 2/29/16)

  • DNI Clapper: "Al Qaeda Affiliates Have Proven Resilient And Are Positioned To Make Gains In 2016." "Al-Qa'ida's affiliates have proven resilient and are positioned to make gains in 2016." (DNI James Clapper, Worldwide Threat Assessment Of The US Intelligence Community, House Permanent Select Committee On Intelligence , 2/25/16, pg. 4)

Afghanistan's Top Defense Official Warned That Al Qaeda Is "Very Active," A "Big Threat" To The Country, And There May Be More Core Operatives Than Previously Thought. "Afghanistan's top defense official has warned that al Qaeda -- the reason the United States first invaded Afghanistan -- is 'very active' and a 'big threat' in the country. A senior U.S. official said they were concerned about al Qaeda leaders in remote areas of the country and there may be many more core operatives in Afghanistan than previously thought." (Nick Walsh, "Al Qaeda 'Very Active' In Afghanistan: U.S. Commander," CNN, 4/13/16)

Acting Defense Minister Masoom Stanikzai Said Al Qaeda Is "Working Behind Other Networks, Giving Them Support And The Experience They Had In Different Places. And Double Their Resources And Recruitment And Other Things." "Acting Defense Minister Masoom Stanikzai told CNN that al Qaeda were keeping a low profile but expanding. 'They are really very active. They are working in quiet and reorganizing themselves and preparing themselves for bigger attacks,' he said. 'They are working behind other networks, giving them support and the experience they had in different places. And double their resources and recruitment and other things. That is how -- they are not talking too much. They are not making press statements. It is a big threat.'" (Nick Walsh, "Al Qaeda 'Very Active' In Afghanistan: U.S. Commander," CNN, 4/13/16)

There Currently Exists More Free Space For Al-Qaeda And Other Terrorists Than Ever Before

Director Of National Intelligence James Clapper: There Currently Exist More Terrorist Safe Havens "Than At Any Time In History." "Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who was also at the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, estimated that violent extremists were active in about 40 countries and that there currently exist more terrorist safe havens 'than at any time in history.'" (Ryan Browne, "Top Intelligence Official: ISIS To Attempt U.S. Attacks This Year," CNN, 2/9/16)

Former Acting Director Of The CIA John McLaughlin: ISIS Has A Presence In 40 Countries With Affiliates In 9. "With a presence of some sort in about 40 countries and formal affiliates in nine of them (Egypt and Libya the most advanced), loss of land in Iraq and Syria does not deprive ISIS of territorial options for plotting, training, and launching terrorist attacks." (John McLaughlin, "ISIS Is Hurt But Its End Is Not In Sight," The Cipher Brief, 7/28/16)

  • Former Acting Director Of The CIA John McLaughlin: ISIS Has More Ungoverned Territory At Its Disposal Than Any Terrorist Group Has Had "In Decades." "In fact, the combination of chaos in Iraq and Syria, the U.S. drawdowns in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the weakness of so many Middle Eastern and African governments give terrorists more 'ungoverned' space to exploit than has existed in the last couple decades." (John McLaughlin, "ISIS Is Hurt But Its End Is Not In Sight," The Cipher Brief, 7/28/16)


President Obama Promised To Hold North Korea Accountable. OBAMA: "But if the governments of Iran and North Korea choose to ignore international standards; if they put the pursuit of nuclear weapons ahead of regional stability and the security and opportunity of their own people; if they are oblivious to the dangers of escalating nuclear arms races in both East Asia and the Middle East -- then they must be held accountable." (Barak Obama, Remarks By The President To The United Nations General Assembly , New York, New York, 9/23/09)

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North Korea Has Ramped Up Its Nuclear Testing To Levels Never Seen Before Under Obama

In September 2016, North Korea Supposedly Fired 3 Ballistic Missiles From A Submarine. "North Korea fired three ballistic missiles Monday morning, according to South Korea's military. The missiles were fired from areas around Hwangju county, in North Hwanghae province, toward the Sea of Japan, South Korea's military said. Officials said the launch was believed to be of midrange Rodong missiles, which flew about 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) 'without giving any prior navigational warning.' North Korean leader Kim Jong Un 'expressed great satisfaction' over the launch and called on his country to bolster its nuclear forces, according to a report on Tuesday in the state-run KCNA news agency." (James Griffiths And K.J. Kwon, "North Korea Fires 3 Ballistic Missiles; Japan Calls It 'Serious Threat,'" CNN, 9/5/16)

North Korea Has Completed 72 Major Kinetic And Misile Provocations Under Obama While Only Completing One Nuclear Test And 19 Provocations During Bush's Two Terms. "Moreover, North Korea remains a stain on the pivot legacy. Under Obama, North Korea has conducted an unprecedented three nuclear tests and 72 major kinetic and missile provocations. By comparison, there was one nuclear test and 19 provocations during Bush's two terms." (Victor Cha, "The Unfinished Legacy of Obama's Pivot To Asia," Foreign Policy, 9/6/16)

North Korea Said It "Successfully Carried Out A Hydrogen Bomb Test, Which If Confirmed, Will Be A First For The Reclusive Regime And A Significant Advancement For Its Military Ambitions." "North Korea says it has successfully carried out a hydrogen bomb test, which if confirmed, will be a first for the reclusive regime and a significant advancement for its military ambitions. A hydrogen bomb is more powerful than plutonium weapons, which is what North Korea used in its three previous underground nuclear tests." (Euan McKirdy, "North Korea Announces It Conducted Nuclear Test," CNN , 1/6/16)

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