President Obama showed nuanced, mature leadership through his handling of the Libyan uprising. He was faulted by conservatives for not taking a more decisive lead position, and many used his approach as so called evidence that the president did not truly believe in American exceptionalism.
How could he, they argued, when he allowed British Prime Minister Cameron and French president Sarkozy to be the driving forces behind the decision to assist the uprising against Muammar Gadhafi? He was criticized for not doing enough.
But President Obama proceeded wisely, in allowing the U.S. to be a key player in a multi-national effort to support the rebels without committing to American air strikes or the deployment of American troops on the ground. He demonstrated his understanding that the world has changed.
The U.S. can no longer afford to be the global policeman. It is neither wise nor necessary for America to carry the burden alone for other nations in order to play a leadership role.
President Obama argued that the U.S. has allies who can be tremendous assets in times of international crises such as the Libyan uprising. He showed smart leadership by choosing to be part of a multilateral coalition, and helping bring about the desired objective of ousting a long-time dictator without sacrificing the life of a single American service member. It may not have been the bombastic show of leadership that some had hoped for—and for which those same people would have criticized him later, had the mission failed—but the President’s policy proved to be patient, wise, well thought-out, and effective, and one that will land him on the right side of history in this crisis.
These are tremendous qualities that, I believe, should earn the president a second term in office.
Khaled Hosseini started his foundation, The Khaled Hosseini Foundation, to provide humanitarian assistance to the women and children of his homeland.
This essay originally ran as part of 90 Days, 90 Reasons. For more essays, written by people such as Russell Simmons, Jamaica Kincaid, Edwidge Danticat and Majora Carter, go to 90days90reasons.com. Follow 90 Days, 90 Reasons on Twitter: https://twitter.com/90days90reasons Or like them on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/90days90reasons
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