NYT: Obama Failed In Iraq

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by pspr, Sep 23, 2012.

  1. pspr


    The request was an unusual one, and President Obama himself made the confidential phone call to Jalal Talabani, the Iraqi president.

    Marshaling his best skills at persuasion, Mr. Obama asked Mr. Talabani, a consummate political survivor, to give up his post. It was Nov. 4, 2010, and the plan was for Ayad Allawi to take Mr. Talabani’s place.

    With Mr. Allawi, a secular Shiite and the leader of a bloc with broad Sunni support, the Obama administration calculated, Iraq would have a more inclusive government and would check the worrisome drift toward authoritarianism under Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki.

    But Mr. Obama did not make the sale.

    “They were afraid what would happen if the different groups of Iraq did not reach an agreement,” recalled Mr. Talabani, who turned down the request.

    Mr. Obama has pointed to the American troop withdrawal last year as proof that he has fulfilled his promise to end the Iraq war. Winding down a conflict, however, entails far more than extracting troops.

    In the case of Iraq, the American goal has been to leave a stable and representative government, avoid a power vacuum that neighboring states and terrorists could exploit and maintain sufficient influence so that Iraq would be a partner or, at a minimum, not an opponent in the Middle East.

    But the Obama administration has fallen frustratingly short of some of those objectives.

    The attempt by Mr. Obama and his senior aides to fashion an extraordinary power-sharing arrangement between Mr. Maliki and Mr. Allawi never materialized. Neither did an agreement that would have kept a small American force in Iraq to train the Iraqi military and patrol the country’s skies. A plan to use American civilians to train the Iraqi police has been severely cut back. The result is an Iraq that is less stable domestically and less reliable internationally than the United States had envisioned.

    The story of these efforts has received little attention in a nation weary of the conflict in Iraq, and administration officials have rarely talked about them. This account is based on interviews with many of the principals, in Washington and Baghdad.

    White House officials portray their exit strategy as a success, asserting that the number of civilian fatalities in Iraq is low compared with 2006, when the war was at its height. Politics, not violence, has become the principal means for Iraqis to resolve their differences, they say. “Recent news coverage of Iraq would suggest that as our troops departed, American influence went with them and our administration shifted its focus away from Iraq,” Antony Blinken, the national security adviser to Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., said in a speech in March. “The fact is, our engagements have increased.”

    To many Iraqis, the United States’ influence is greatly diminished. “American policy is very weak,” observed Fuad Hussein, the chief of staff to Massoud Barzani, the president of the semiautonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq. “It is not clear to us how they have defined their interests in Iraq,” Mr. Hussein said. “They are picking events and reacting on the basis of events. That is the policy.”

  2. Obama's Afghanistan surge was a failure. he tried so hard to copy Bush's foreign policy on the surge but Obama doesn't have the brains to do it right.

    AUCKLAND, New Zealand -- The 33,000 additional U.S. troops that President Barack Obama ordered to Afghanistan to tamp down the Taliban attacks nearly two years ago have now left the country, but a new wave of deadly insider attacks and a reassessment of how NATO troops partner with Afghans have raised questions about how well the military strategy is working.
  3. pspr


    Everyone but Obama knew he was screwing up when he only sent half the troops the commanders said they needed. Obama is just a typical loser and he's turning America into a loser, too.
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