Chris, what I want to see is how President Obama handles Afghanistan. He is committed to withdrawing troops there in two months (July) and David Petraeus, the Afghanistan commander, is coming back to the United States to head up the CIA.
I doubt Libya will be resolved by then and then there is conflict in Syria.
The economy is in a shambles and Obama’s foreign policy is a disorganized mess. When will Obama be held accountable for his failed Presidency?
President Barack Obama plans to order that all U.S. combat troops be withdrawn from Iraq by August 2010, administration officials said Tuesday, ending the war that defined his upstart presidential campaign three months later than he had promised.
Obama’s plan would pull out all combat troops 19 months after his inauguration, although he had promised repeatedly during the 2008 campaign that he would withdraw them 16 months after taking office. That schedule, based on removing roughly one brigade a month, was predicated on commanders determining that it would not endanger U.S. troops left behind or Iraq’s fragile security.
Pledging to end the war in 16 months helped to build enormous grass-roots support for Obama’s White House bid.
The withdrawal plan â€” an announcement could come as early as this week â€” calls for leaving a large contingent of troops behind, between 30,000 and 50,000 troops, to advise and train Iraqi security forces and to protect U.S. interests.
Also staying beyond the 19 months would be intelligence and surveillance specialists and their equipment, including unmanned aircraft, according to two administration officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because the plan has not been made public.
The complete withdrawal of American forces will take place by December 2011, the period by which the U.S. agreed with Iraq to remove all troops.
Currently there are 142,000 troops in Iraq and by leaving 30-50,000 troops, there will still be plenty of soldiers there that can take up arms if conditions warrant.
So, who gets the credit for ending the Iraq War?
It should go to President Bush and General Petraeus whose “SURGE” pretty much ended the hostilities.
Marine Maj. Gen. John Kelly, who just left his job overseeing U.S. operations in Anbar Province, said Tuesday that he saw violence drop to an almost “meaningless” level over the past year.
Kelly told reporters Tuesday that in the area that was the home ground of the Sunni insurgency, American combat forces don’t have enough to do and most could have pulled out months ago.
“There is still a security issue there, but in the province I just left the (Iraqi) army and the police are more than handling the remnants of what used to be al-Qaida,” Kelly said. “There’s other parts of Iraq that aren’t going quite as well but all of Iraq is doing pretty well.”
Exit Question: Will President Bush get any credit for ending the war? Or for just starting it? And the 4,200 plus killed and 31,000 injured?
McCain in Reno, Nevada May 28, 2008: Obama Needs To See The Facts On The Ground In Iraq. Skip ahead to 1:20
John McCain in a townhall forum today in Reno, Nevada ripped Barack Obama for having ONLY been to Iraq one time two years ago (before the Surge) and for failing in his duties as a member of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
â€œA little over two years ago he went and he has never seized the opportunity except in a hearing to meet with General Petraeus. This is about leadership and learning.â€
â€œWhy is it that Senator Obama wants to sit down with the president of Iran but has not sat down with General Petraeusâ€¦â€
Is Obama Willing To Meet Ahmadinejad, But Not Petraeus?
Obama has been to Iraq once, in 2006. It was a two-day tour of the country.
I suppose one can argue about the value of seeing the situation on the ground with one’s own eyes, but wouldn’t the architect of a withdrawal want to see some of the circumstances himself? Even if Obama didn’t want to travel with McCain, is it really wise to suggest that a tour of post-surge Iraq is unnecessary? Wouldn’t scheduling a visit defuse criticism like this from Vets for Freedom PAC?
And isn’t Obama vulnerable to the argument that a man who’s pledged to meet unconditionally, one-on-one, face-to-face with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad really ought to meet at least once one-on-one with Gen. David Petraeus?
Barack Obama is too inexperienced in foreign policy to be the President and Commander in Chief. Obama has not served in the military and his military background is limited except a Great Uncle who served in World War II – and Obama got the facts wrong on his service.
Is this someone we can trust to be the leader of the free world, especially in a time of terrorism and war ?