President Barack Obama will confront his own legacy — seven years of intractable wars he once pledged to end — when he revisits two of America’s bloodiest conflicts this week.
On visits to Vietnam and Hiroshima, Obama will see the potency and limits of U.S. military power up close. He won’t apologize in Hiroshima for the U.S. decision to drop atomic bombs in 1945, his spokesman said. Nor will he re-litigate U.S. involvement in Vietnam that cost Lyndon Baines Johnson the presidency — and 58,000 Americans their lives.
Obama’s visit “kind of gives, especially for those aging and surviving victims and the families, some sense of closure. At least there’s an acknowledgment of the destruction they experienced,” said Yuki Tatsumi, a senior associate of the East Asia program at the Stimson Center, a nonprofit research group in Washington.
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