From Nobel Peace Prize Recipient to War Hero: An in-depth Analysis of the Contradictory War Policies of President Barack Obama Testing the Pacifist Theory

Shakei T. Haynes


President Barack Obama was in office for less than a year before he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, making him the third sitting American President in office to win the award. The Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded President Obama the Prize as a catalyst to further encourage his peaceful approach and reverse some of the George W. Bush Administration’s inimical actions in the international community. Obama was expected to follow in the same trajectory of actions to which those other recipients of the award dedicated their life work, and that was the pursuit of world peace. With the potent expectation of President Obama to promote peace, it is only necessary to ask the following question: How did a Noble Peace Prize recipient bomb an African, Third World country and send 30,000 additional troops to a war he so detested leading up to his election and after? This paper seeks to answer this major research question. The Pacifist Theory asserts a commitment to peace and an opposition to war. Utilizing this theory, this paper analyzes the contradictory war policies of President Barack Obama and his employment of the Pacifist Theory in his obtainment of office and earlier into his job as President. Thus, the hypothesis tested in this study is that President Obama utilized the Pacifist theory to gain office and through his war policies performed the complete opposite of a pacifist. Qualitative data derived from primary and secondary sources using expert interviews and the document analysis technique were analyzed. The findings from the analysis support the hypothesis tested.


Pacifist Theory; The Norwegian Nobel Committee; Nobel Peace Prize; President Barack Obama

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