Obama’s Legacy

By Lubomyr Velechyko |

With one day left in the eight year term Barack Obama has served, he concludes a segment of his impactful international diplomacy. Here’s a look back on all that has been accomplished during Barack Obama’s term, from technological advances to economic decisions.

International crises

Crises, of course, have not been eradicated under his legacy. including the Syrian Civil War and the perpetual nuclear-jousting with North Korea. Obama’s patient attitude toward diplomacy has led the United States to be better positioned to have leverage in discussion when conducting talks with the topic at hand. With his time in public office, although some achievements being disputed, he has reached an accord to lessen carbon emissions globally at the 21st Paris Conference of Parties (COP), broker a deal in Iran that paves the way for the gradual eradication of nuclear weaponry, historically restore diplomatic ties with Cuba, all while being in the highest office in the midst of a domestic economic recession.

But Obama’s legacy is able to be defined not solely by his ability to act, but also by by being open to compromise and thoughtful in execution. His resistance to act blindly has led towards high-tension conflicts, such as one in Syria, to be less threatening toward the security of the United States.


Technological and military advances

An aspect that has aided him in ranking as one of the most productive presidents has been his embracement of technology. The use of drones, for example, has proved to be a beneficial method preventing the death of soldiers while achieving the similar objective.

However, many have become wary of Obama’s negligence to large-scale military enforcement, where under his time in office, China has piratically captured islands in the disputed South Asian Sea, as Russia, without repercussion, seizing areas in eastern Ukraine and annexing Crimea.

Although Obama has attempted to diplomatically resolve conflict and deteriorate a physical-military presence in much of the world- in part due to the attempt to repeal damage induced by the Bush administration— it has left a void in what light his actions should be perceived in. Many conservatists are firm in their belief that Obama’s retraction of troops from the Middle East has whirlpooled into the creation of hostility towards the U.S., catalyzing the uprising of extremists groups such as the Islamic State.

Contrastingly, Mr.Obama has been able to achieve non-militarily the Paris Peace Accord, a campaign spearheaded with the aid of China—the leading global pollutant. In the greater light, his ability to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba has been able to lessen the tensions of the Western Hemisphere, dispelling the two nations of a plague aging more than half a century.


International trade

Despite China’s fast moving aggression in the Asian region, trade for the United States has never been in greater benefit due to Obama’s effort to establish the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Although the deal’s benefits are seemingly reaped by consumers domestically and abroad in Asia, political opposition to deal leads a murky future for the deal, where President-elect Trump has promised to disenfranchise the deal with his newly-sworn enemy—China.

In the span of eight years, conflict has either arose or be extinguished, due in part to Obama’s politics in the global arena, however with a craftful eye for the future, much of the fruits enjoyed today will not be fully acknowledged much after he has left office and a new form of politics enters the White House. Until then, it is appropriate to recognize that Obama really did what he pledged in his “Yes We Can” campaign. He cast a ray of hope for a world lacking it, and the United States is better for it.


About the Reporter

Lubomyr has written for the Newspaper club at I.A. East for two years, often times choosing to write about world news and opinion columns. He is a senior at the his school and plans to pursue writing in college. He is currently undecided.


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