Many say they are not surprised that Obama has already got straight down to work. He comes into office amid high expectations to quickly sort out a myriad of problems. Today meetings were planned with army chiefs and economic advisers.Obama said: “The state of our economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act, not only to create new jobs but to lay a new foundation for growth.” Obama’s team has been working on the financial crisis ever since election day; now it is time to put promises into action. Lakshman Achuthan, the Managing Director of the Economic Cycle Research Institute, said: “The clock is ticking. The Obama administration, the Congress, have to move quickly in order to get the second stimulus out in a way that shows accountability and transparency. “Perhaps the expectations are a bit high, but it’s very important to have some hope because that’s been in short quantity for some time now and you want to foster that hope, try to have it feed on itself, because eventually that will be part of the recovery.” The other subject that took centre stage during the election campaigning was the US’s role in Iraq and Afghanistan. Obama is expected to keep up a quick pace. Obama said: “We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people and forge a hard earned peace in Afghanistan.” But while military strategy is reassessed at the White House, there are mixed feelings in Baghdad. Doctor Wameedh Nadhmi at the College of Political Sciences said: “It is not that simple (to say) that Mr. Obama could bring immediate and radical changes because, after all, he is committed to some sort of continuation in USA policy, and more so if we know that the USA is not motivated by the President himself as much as by other institutions.’‘ And as with elections in most countries, firm pre-election promises often turn out to become not so firm afterall.