The Wall Street Journal quotes VP and Scowcroft Center Director Barry Pavel on President Obama’s authorization of targeted airstrikes in Iraq:
The return to military engagement in Iraq is a reversal for Mr. Obama, whose early opposition to the war that toppled Saddam Hussein, and his promise to end it, fueled his long-shot campaign for the White House.
It also puts a spotlight on what has become a familiar feature of the Obama presidency, in which the leader of the most powerful military in the world has become defined by his reluctance to use it.
“They’re very, very wary,” said Barry Pavel, a former defense official and director of the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security at the Atlantic Council. “There are situations that will come up in the world where that wariness is tested in order to ensure that U.S. national security interests will be protected.”