We won the Iraq War by 2008. We maintained the peace until 2011 with a sizable troop presence. Iraq rapidly fell apart after we left at the end of 2011. While I'm grateful that President Obama has re-engaged in Iraq to reverse our setback, I do wish he'd do a better job of it. But let's revisit the whole idea of keeping American troops in Iraq between our departure in 2011 and our re-entry in 2014.
One of the funniest aspects of the renewed Iraq War debate is the amazing ability of President Obama's supporters to say that we only had a 3-year agreement to keep forces in Iraq under President Bush and so our presence in Iraq was supposed to end in 2011, according to Bush.
I have a question for Obama supporters if that is true: If the 2008 agreement between the Bush administration and Iraq that provided for a three-year presence in Iraq was intended to remove all US troops from Iraq at the end of 2011, why did the Obama administration even negotiate at all with the Iraqis for a new agreement?
As should be obvious to anyone who hasn't put their higher brain functions into a blind trust for the duration of the Obama administration (Hope and Change are much better than thinking!), the Bush deal was intended as an interim deal that was to be replaced by a permanent deal.
President Bush was under pressure to leave this issue to the new President Obama, so getting a 3-year deal was probably the best he could have done.
I can only assume that the assumption in the Bush administration was that success by 2011 would lead President Obama to continue our presence in a quiet Iraq rather than risk being blamed for a resurgence in violence if we left.
Sadly, President Bush under-estimated the priority of politics in the Obama administration's calculations.
Remember, right now the Obama administration wants its blind trust-supporters to parrot the line that President Obama tried very hard to get a status of forces agreement with Iraq even though the president campaigned on his opposite promise to get us out of Iraq as fast as possible; and once we left, boasted of getting our troops out of Iraq and thus keeping his campaign promise.
Got it. Between his promise and his boast, President Obama tried very hard to do the opposite. I'm not that stupid to believe that. Are you?
While I'm at it, one aspect of this "setback" in Iraq is the role of Hillary Clinton's State Department.
Remember that the fallback position for failing to keep American troops in Iraq to bolster the Iraqi government and help keep them on track was a massive State Department paramilitary effort to replicate what our military would have done had we stayed.
Hillary Clinton can be so proud of how she carried out her responsibilities as Secretary of State--she sure did travel a lot.
Of course, perhaps she was just collecting checks from foreign governments for the Clinton Foundation. That would explain her mileage and lack of accomplishments.