The Atlantic

The President Is Visiting Troops in Iraq. To What End?

Do presidential visits to combat zones offer leaders any insights, or boost morale for troops?
Source: Jonathan Ernst / Reuters

Since Franklin D. Roosevelt secretly flew to Morocco to finalize Allied war plans with Winston Churchill and surprise American soldiers stationed in the country, American presidents have engaged in the well-worn tradition of meeting with troops in combat zones. Bill Clinton met with troops in the Balkans; George W. Bush and Barack Obama both visited troops in Iraq and Afghanistan; Bush spent Thanksgiving with Americans in Iraq months after the invasion of the

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Atlantic

The Atlantic5 min readPolitics
An Imperfect SAT Adversity Score Is Better Than Just Ignoring Adversity
The College Board’s simple, straightforward indicator will make schools pay attention to the tough odds some applicants face.
The Atlantic7 min read
The Lucrative Black Market in Human Fat
In 16th- and 17th-century Europe, physicians, butchers, and executioners alike hawked the salutary effects of Axungia hominis.
The Atlantic5 min readPolitics
A Lesson From 1930s Germany: Beware State Control of Social Media
Regulators should think carefully about the fallout from well-intentioned new rules and avoid the mistakes of the past.