As President Barack Obama starts his third overseas trip in less than three months, he will find himself once again peppered with questions about his foreign policy, even as he attempts to cement his own legacy on the world stage.
Obama landed Tuesday in Poland, his first stop, on a mission to reassure nervous allies in Eastern Europe after Russia’s incursion into Ukraine.
But his three-nation journey comes as Republicans have unleashed a new line of attack against his judgment — his decision to exchange five Taliban prisoners who were held at the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for the return of former prisoner of war, Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.
Obama will have an opportunity to address the criticism at a news conference in Warsaw on Tuesday.
In his remarks announcing Bergdahl’s release, Obama appeared ready to reopen the debate over closing Guantanamo, a policy he has pursued since the start of his administration.
“We’re committed to winding down the war in Afghanistan, and we are committed to bring our prisoners of war home,” Obama said.
Several GOP lawmakers argued over whether Obama violated U.S. law in seeking the secret prisoner swap without consulting Congress, while placing U.S. soldiers in jeopardy in Afghanistan.
“We have now set a price,” Rep. Mike Rogers, a Michigan Republican, said on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday. “We have a changing footprint in Afghanistan, which would put our soldiers at risk for this notion that ‘if I get one, I can get five Taliban released.’” CNN