Regardless of one’s opinion about the Iraq War, it is hard to refute that an expected long-term benefit from that war would be a continuing military presence in what we all hoped would become a friendly country in the Middle East. Centrally located in a volatile spot of the world, this strategic presence could cut military response time, providing a base of operations and supply if the need arose. This benefit is evaporating.
The agreement of a military presence that President Bush insisted on in negotiations with the Iraqi government slowly began to fall apart during the Obama administration, but according to embassy documents, neither Obama nor Biden had any direct contact with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki since February of this year. Consequently, decisions have been made that may force us entirely out of Iraq. It seems that Obama’s campaign promise to remove all troops from Iraq took precedence over the country’s best interests.
Obama has received accolades, most hypocritically from the military-hating left, for killing terrorists such as bin Laden and Gaddafi. The unfortunate fact is that the loss of our continued military presence in Iraq will put the future security of the U.S. and the entire region at a far greater risk than that presented by those few terrorists. While Obama does his victory dance, terrorists in Iran are dancing in the streets over the real possibility of an Iraq with no US military presence. They can’t wait.
Obama’s “soft” international policies have not been hardened by the killing of a few notorious terrorists. His lack of experience has combined with his personal political aspirations and his idealism to put our country in a difficult position for the future. One can only hope that this setback can be reversed by the next administration.
David J. Hentosh