Monday, January 9, 2017

US President Barack Obama's farewell ceremony at Joint Base Myer-Henders...



U.S. President Barack Obama bid farewell to U.S. Armed forces Wednesday (January 4) at a ceremony at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Virginia saying that he has had "no greater privilege and no greater honor than serving as the Commander and Chief of the greatest military in the history of the world." At the ceremony Obama was presented with the Medal of Distinguished Public Service by Defense Secretary Ash Carter. Obama's foreign policy legacy rests in part on a foundation of unilateral actions that his successor Donald Trump could reverse with the stroke of a pen. Due to take office on Jan. 20, Trump, the winner in Tuesday's election, campaigned at times to dismantle Obama's nuclear deal with Iran and to reimpose sanctions Obama eased on Cuba. Trump also disagreed with foreign policy decisions that included the way Obama has deployed troops abroad to combat Islamist militant groups.

In his most notable foreign policy achievements, Obama, a Democrat, used executive authorities that offered a convenient legal path around a Republican-controlled Congress committed to blocking his agenda. Obama deployed U.S. troops to Iraq, Syria and Libya to help fight the Islamic State militant group by relying on the authority Congress granted President George W. Bush to battle al Qaeda. That same authority would allow Trump to ramp up U.S. deployments in fights against Islamist militants if he chose to do so. Trump's powers, however, are limited. He pledged to expand the Army, grow the Marine Corps, boost the Navy from 276 to 350 ships and submarines, and raise the number of Air Force tactical aircraft from 1,100 to 1,200. For starters, that would require that Congress scrap government spending caps under the Budget Control Act.

Trump's support for water-boarding, an interrogation technique that simulates drowning, also would meet opposition. Congress last year passed legislation barring the use of waterboarding and other "extreme interrogation techniques" widely considered torture. Obama signed the measure into law last November.

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