Marc Thiessen explains for Washington Post readers why he believes President Obama’s agenda should be viewed as more than just an attempt to repudiate his predecessor.

In 2011, President Obama withdrew all U.S. forces from Iraq and has announced plans to do the same in Afghanistan by 2016. Obama’s unmistakable objective is to make sure there are no U.S. troops in either country by the time he leaves office so that he can go down in history as the president who ended George W. Bush’s wars.

Obama clearly sees himself as the anti-Bush. But he is not the anti-Bush. He is the anti-Truman. He is rejecting not the legacy of his Republican predecessor, but the legacy of one of the great Democratic statesmen of the 20th century.

Like Obama, Truman faced a population that wanted to bring our troops home. But Truman resisted pressure to withdraw after World War II, keeping U.S. forces in Germany to deter Soviet aggression and keeping U.S. forces in Japan as a counterweight to communist China. Indeed, he deployed U.S. forces to Korea to check communist aggression and kept them in place to patrol the 38th parallel when the Korean War ended. The military footprint he established on two continents served as the foundation for security in Europe and in the Pacific — and gave us seven decades of peace.

Imagine what Europe and the Pacific would look like if Truman had followed the Obama model and removed all U.S. forces from Germany, Japan and Korea. Does anyone imagine that South Korea would be an independent country and a democratic ally of the United States if U.S. troops had not been patrolling the Demilitarized Zone since 1957? Or that the Cold War would have ended with the peaceful collapse of the Soviet Union if America had not kept U.S. forces deployed in Europe since 1945?

Obama says “it’s time to turn the page on more than a decade in which so much of our foreign policy was focused on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.” After World War II, Truman knew that Americans wanted to turn the page as well. But when Joseph Stalin tested the United States’ resolve with a blockade of Berlin, Truman did not hesitate. He launched the Berlin Airlift, delivering supplies to the besieged city and forcing the Soviets to back down. Truman understood that just because Americans were weary of war did not mean our adversaries were — and his actions secured the freedom of West Berlin. Today, Iraq is besieged by Islamist terrorists. Where is the modern equivalent of the Berlin Airlift for Iraq?

While Obama might be anti-Truman, a number of his actions appear to be pro-Nixon.