Behind The Scenes On The Withdrawal From Iraq

President Barack Obama shakes hands with Iraqi...

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On Friday The Cable posted an article discussing some of the behind the scenes discussions and issues that went into the plan to withdraw all American troops from Iraq by the end of this year.

The article reminds us:

Deputy National Security Advisors Denis McDonough and Tony Blinken said in a White House briefing that this was always the plan. 

…But what about the extensive negotiations the administration has been engaged in for months, regarding U.S. offers to leave thousands of uniformed soldiers in Iraq past the deadline? It has been well reported that those negotiations, led by U.S. Ambassador James Jeffrey, Army Gen. Lloyd Austin, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, and White House official Brett McGurk, had been stalled over the U.S. demand that the remaining troops receive immunity from Iraqi courts. 

The article points out that there are ways to get around the immunity issue:

Administration sources and Hill staffers also tell The Cable that the demand that the troop immunity go through the Council of Representatives was a decision made by the State Department lawyers and there were other options available to the administration, such as putting the remaining troops on the embassy’s diplomatic rolls, which would automatically give them immunity. 

The bottom line here is simple. President Obama and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki were both more concerned with politics that with the security of Iraq. Al-Maliki is very aware of the fragile coalition that holds his government together. President Obama wants to be re-elected. No one is thinking ahead regarding Iraq.

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1 thought on “Behind The Scenes On The Withdrawal From Iraq

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