How President Obama Solidified the Transition to Perpetual War

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President Barack Obama speaks to troops, service-members and military families at the 1st Aviation Support Battalion Hangar at Fort Bliss Friday, Aug. 31, 2012, in El Paso, Texas.
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When President Obama came into office in 2008 he inherited two wars, one in Afghanistan and one in Iraq, and proposed a timeline to withdraw troops — a feat he nearly accomplished in Iraq.

But with mere days left in his term, the battle to defeat the Islamic State marches on, and conflict is still raging in the Middle East. In all, America has been at war longer than any other time in U.S. presidential history. 

There have been cultural shifts within the military, with the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and the introduction of women in combat roles. But President Obama was unable to close the Guantanamo Bay detention center, and he could never quite shift away from the national security bureaucracy that was held over from the Bush Administration. 

While traditional large scale military tactics have been scaled back, today the military requires a retooling of training, education and recruitment. It is a legacy that Obama will hand over to the incoming Trump Administration. 

Rosa Brooks, a law professor at Georgetown University and author of "How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything," argues that his administration has effectively solidified the transition into perpetual war.