How Obama botched the Iraq withdrawal negotiations

Josh Rogin at FP's The Cable blog reminds us that despite the president's claim that we are leaving Iraq "as promised," there were elements in the administration who wanted several thousand soldiers to remain in Iraq past the December 31, 2011 deadline for withdrawal. The problem, as described by most media sources, was Prime Minister Maliki's inability to convince his government to allow American forces to remain and receive immunity from the capriciousness of Iraqi justice. Rogin has a different story: Sullivan was one of 40 conservative foreign policy professionals who wrote to Obama in September to warn that even a residual force of 4,000 troops would "leave the country more vulnerable to internal and external threats, thus imperiling the hard-fought gains in security and governance made in recent years at significant cost to the United States." She said that the administration's negotiating strategy was flawed for a number of reasons: it failed to take into account Iraqi...(Read Full Post)