Binghamton University Professor: Obama’s Legacy at Stake in Campaign Against ISIS


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President Barack Obama admitted in a recent interview on 60 Minutes that America underestimated the threat posed by ISIS. According to Ricardo René Larémont, Binghamton University professor of political science and sociology, and nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, the U.S. underestimated the capacity of ISIS, and Obama’s legacy played a factor. “It’s important to recognize that the president has an orientation in terms of what kind of legacy he wants to leave, and that legacy was one of exiting from Iraq and exiting from Afghanistan,” said Laremont. “Returning to the region really wasn’t something that was part of his endgame.” Laremont thinks that Obama has turned because he's again thinking of his legacy, but that he will only go as far as to deploy air assets and use special forces in the region for the foreseeable future. “In the optimal world, he wouldn’t have to go there at all," said Laremont. "In a suboptimal world, he has to return because if something were to happen between now and January 2016, Americans would ask, ‘Well, why didn’t you do anything?’ So he’s found a middle place between total disengagement -- or trying to attempt to disengage -- and Bush’s full engagement.”

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