During the 2008 presidential campaign, the main criticism against Barack Obama was that he was too green to lead America’s foreign policy and military.

It was a charge that Republican conservatives made against Democratic candidates with predictable frequency and had become a proven winning strategy after Ronald Reagan steamrolled perceived military bumbler Jimmy Carter in 1980. Conventional wisdom suggested that strategy would work even better against Obama.

In a move that foreshadowed his military decision-making, Obama authorized within the first four months of his administration the military rescue of Richard Phillips, the American sea captain taken hostage by pirates in the waters off Somalia. The mission resulted in the deaths of three pirates and the capture of the fourth—and freed Phillips.

That mission underscored the frenetic pace of the Obama administration during its first 100 days. Within a short amount of time, Obama approved the massive expansion of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, increased drone attacks against the Taliban in Pakistan, and launched efforts to rid the world of nuclear weapons. Most important, he stepped up efforts to hunt and kill America’s number one enemy—Osama bin Laden.


To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.