A Historic Point For The U.S. Mission
President Obama is making good on his promise to end the U.S. combat mission in Iraq. As of August 31, all designated combat troops will have been out of Iraq and Operation Iraqi Freedom will have officially ended. The remaining 50,000 U.S forces still in Iraq are there to advise and assist brigades to continue the training of Iraq security forces. The Obama administration has set a goal of
December 31, 2011 for all U.S. troops to leave Iraq.
President Obama’s Iraq policy of bringing the U.S. presence to a conclusion has critics on both the left and right. Some critics on the left argue that, as a candidate, Obama pledged to completely withdraw all U.S. troops within nine months of taking office. In their view, this timetable has come and gone. They also believe there is nothing further to be gained from this misguided, and in the minds of some, illegal Bush war. In addition, they are disappointed that Obama isn’t simply pulling all U.S. troops out. They believe that nothing will stop the coming sectarian violence and that the continued presence of U.S. troops will delay and not prevent the all but certain civil war between the Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds. They particularly point to the fact that there is still no real plan to share power or the oil resources
between these groups.
Critics on the right believe that a continued U.S. presence will allow the fledgling and fragile Iraqi government to keep its footing while it finds a way to share power and enable democracy to take root. They believe that to leave prematurely will only ensure that those insurgents and members of the al-Qaeda terrorist groups, who have been standing down since the surge all but ended sectarian violence, will start up their murderous ways. In addition to challenging the government, these terrorists will again begin to slaughter innocent civilians. These critics argue that America has invested its blood and treasure to bring about a free and democratic government in Iraq, and it would be dishonorable to those who
sacrificed everything to allow the terrorists to regain control in Iraq.
Question Of The Week
In addition to withdrawing U.S. combat forces in Iraq, should President Obama immediately withdraw the balance of all U.S. troops in Iraq?