President Obama has announced the withdrawal of (almost) all troops from Iraq by the end of the year. We will be leaving up to 200 Marines to protect that monstrosity of an embassy we’ve built. Someday it will be a nice place for tourist to visit (at least we got something out of that war).
It is apparent that the Iraqis pressured him into the decision and it is a popular move for Obama now during the election season. I’m sure there are going to be many on the right who will be calling this a failure. Probably a lot of neocons will be crying about the loss of “force projection.” Surprise, surprise — the Heritage Foundation doesn’t like it one bit. . Here is how they overstate the threat:
[Withdrawal] will undermine U.S. security interests in Iraq by severely limiting bilateral U.S.–Iraqi cooperation in fighting al-Qaeda in Iraq and radical pro-Iranian Shia militias. The U.S. military pullout will also weaken efforts to contain Iran by leaving a partial power vacuum that Iran will exploit to expand its own influence.”
If I was in the Navy I’d be offended by the Heritage statement. They are saying our Naval presence in the Persian Gulf alone would not be enough to “contain” pissant Iran. Come on. In the most likely conflict caused by Iran, they will just end up being nuked by Israel anyway, so we really can’t use them as an excuse to maintain occupation of Iraq.
In one of his statements, President Obama hints that he knows what the right thing to do is: “Because after a decade of war, the nation that we need to build — and the nation that we will build — is our own, an America that sees its economic strength restored just as we’ve restored our leadership around the globe.” Does this mean he is ready to reallocate vast resources we spend on policing the world, and instead put them toward rebuilding America? We need to stop wasting money by overspending on security. As I asked before, who are we this afraid of?
Iraq withdrawal is a good start. How about we leave Afghanistan next? If the president really intends to do that, I’m betting he saves it until at least July or even waiting for the Republican convention. I wonder how many Americans will die a pointless death in Afghanistan between now and then.