State of the Union

White House's Sad Foreign Policy Accomplishments Graphic for SOTU

What successes were those?


The White House posted the text of the State of the Union to tonight, embedding graphics and other multimedia elements as part of their effort to "meet people where they are and make the speech as accessible as possible."

The portion of the speech where President Obama boasted about killing Osama bin Laden and then warned others not to call for carpet bombings included this sad graphic about "the progress U.S. leadership has made in the world."

Here it is:

White House

Yikes. Even if it were a totally honest list, it's fairly pedestrian given nearly two full terms. But it's not.

1. Iran can still obtain a nuclear weapon, but the agreement negotiated in part by the U.S. will make it harder for it to do so. It wasn't a great option, but it was better than the alternatives.

2. While 160,000 combat troops are home from war, the U.S. is engaged militarily more countries than it was in 2008. Troops remain in Iraq and Afghanistan, every other country they were in at the start of Obama's first term, and have been sent to places like Cameroon and Uganda. The U.S. intervention in Syria is also new to Obama. The president's expanded war on terror offers less troops but more military operations around the world.

3. Yes. This was a bona fide accomplishment. So, that's one so far.

4. A "historic global climate agreement" climate change activists call too weak, in large part because of efforts by the U.S. to water down the agreement so much as to make it meaningless as anything other than a rhetorical tool. It could be considered an accomplishment if you're skeptical that more government intervention and central planning would have a positive effect on the economy or the environment, but President Obama is not.

Here's a more honest list, though not comprehensive, of what President Obama's accomplished around the world.