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Obama has ended one war (Iraq) and pledged to end another one (Afghanistan) by the end of 2014, but to Micah Zenko of the Council on Foreign Relations, this expanding and seemingly limitless use of drones represents "America's Third War" -- one that, unlike the other two, Obama has greatly expanded. This one is his, not Bush's. And it's one that has killed nearly 3,400 people so far, 13 percent of whom are civilians. "What was once considered an immediate response to an exceptional threat to the United States," writes Zenko, "is now a permanent and institutionalized feature of U.S. foreign policy."
Obviously, there are many challenges facing our country today, but they are not going to be solved through middle-of-the-road, split-the-difference compromises. That's how many of the challenges were created, or allowed to grow unfettered, in the first place. Big problems require big solutions. I'm not suggesting that compromise is never needed, but compromise is the final step in a negotiation, not the first one. The first one is for leaders with strong convictions to fight for them. If gun violence is an issue you're passionate about then, like Senator Feinstein, you'll be more likely to keep at it until you find allies across the aisle. Same with Senator-elect Warren's passion for creation of a banking system that doesn't take advantage of the middle class.
The starting point for the incoming Congress and the returning president should be rooted in principle. The pragmatic solutions will follow.