Two big problems for our next president

Our next president – let's call him or her #45 – will have to undo two major Obama legacy items:

1) Obamacare.  As The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, the program will have to be reviewed because of insufficient enrollees and rising loss ratios.  In other words, the numbers don't add up.

2) The retreat from the Middle East, aka leading from behind.  We've learned over the last six years that getting out may win a few cheers at the "yes we can" rally.  At the same time, the disengagement has had a lot of unintended consequences, from an assertive Putin to China building islands and a lot of confusion from allies like Israel.

We read that U.S. troops are moving closer to Syria and Iraq, according to The Washington Post:

President Obama’s most senior national security advisers have recommended measures that would move U.S. troops closer to the front lines in Iraq and Syria, officials said, a sign of mounting White House dissatisfaction with progress against the Islamic State and a renewed Pentagon push to expand military involvement in long-running conflicts overseas.

The debate over the proposed steps, which would for the first time position a limited number of Special Operations forces on the ground in Syria and put U.S. advisers closer to the firefights in Iraq, comes as Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter presses the military to deliver new options for greater military involvement in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan.

The changes would represent a significant escalation of the American role in Iraq and Syria. They still require formal approval from Obama, who could make a decision as soon as this week and could decide not to alter the current course, said U.S. officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the discussions are still ongoing. It’s unclear how many additional troops would be required to implement the changes being considered by the president, but the number for now is likely to be relatively small, these officials said.

My guess is that President Obama will do everything possible to push all of these tough calls to #45.  At the same time, don't be surprised if President Obama doesn't have the luxury of running out the clock.  The Middle East may not wait for #45!

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