"Political optics" drives Obama's Iraq policy

Concern about costs are a fine reason to include in making foreign policy decisions. Concerns about short term political considerations is not so laudable. From Fox News:

The Obama administration has decided to drop the number of U.S. troops in Iraq at the end of the year down to 3,000, marking a major downgrade in force strength, multiple sources familiar with the inner workings and decisions on U.S. troop movements in Iraq told Fox News. . . .

The generals on the ground had requested that the number of troops remaining in Iraq at the end of the year reach about 27,000. But, there was major pushback about "the cost and the political optics" of that decision that the number was then reduced to 10,000. . . .

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Blogger Martin G. Schalz said...

Obviously, Obama and crew have not thought out the implications of so few troops in an area that has been so unstable for so long.

Permanent sociological changes cannot be affected by waving a magic wand, nor simple wishfull thinking. So few troops will probably embolden those whom wish to impose their own form of rule over "their" areas, thereby endangering our troops.

It took us years to finish the job of denazification in Germany, and in this paticular situation, we are dealing with a desert culture, not an European culture. This must be taken into account if we are to be successful.

If my memory serves me correctly, the Ottoman Empire dealt with the same area and sectarian problems that we face now. Why cannot anyone in the current Administration learn anything from history?

Short term political goals, for a President who hopefully will have a short term himself.

9/07/2011 10:54 AM  

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