Bookmark and Share    What change has President Obama’s troop withdrawal produced? Beyond achieving the goals set out and put in motion by the Bush presidency, nothing.

anttroopIn conjunction with the Iraqi government, President Bush already set up broad time frames for a slow and responsible withdrawal of forces. The President, under the leadership of the same man who was President Bush’s Secretary of Defense already developed their clear, hold and build policy which has produced the relinquishing of entire Iraqi cities and regions to responsible and adequate Iraqi military forces.

What President Obama has done is continue the Bush policy to finish the job.

President Obama stated that he will withdraw our forces after Iraqi forces have been properly trained are readily equipped to do the job. He feels that such a goal can be accomplished in 18 months. That largely falls around some of the set time frames already established.

In his closing statements the President made it clear that we set out to create a sovereign Iraqi government and that upon our withdrawal, we willhave done so. Well thank you Mr. President, that is what you chastised your predecessor for. If that goal was not necessary, than why not do as you once stated….”withdraw our troops immediately”

Perhaps what is more interesting than what President Obama said is what he didn’t say. The President never said that “all of our forces” would be withdrawn from Iraq. He simply said that all of our combat forces will be withdrawn.

What that means is that we will still have forces there. Some will exist in an advisory capacity, others will exist as combat ready, non-combatants.

What it means is that we will still maintain a presence in Iraq. Left behind will be 35,000 to 50,000 troops. many will be responsible for training and support roles and many will be available for so-called counter terrorism measures.

But President Obama did not make that point clear. Instead he finessed the language to seemingly suit his campaign promises but he may well have delivered his speech under a banner that read “Promisess Unfullfilled”.

President Obama’s withdrawal speech was a magic show and with a slight of hand he made it look like he is ending a war that, truth be told, was already ending.

It is a conclusion that he will try to take credit for but it is a conclusion which we would not be seeing had we not gone with the surge that Senator Obama opposed.

The surge provided enough troops to clear enemy territory, hold it against enemies, and build it up for the citizens. It was the source to the success of the clear, hold, build tactic that led to our ability to turn over the country to it’s own forces. That policy which President Obama opposed gave us time to flush out the enemy, make citizens feel secure and train Iraqi’s how to properly defend and police themselves.

President Obama had no part in that strategy, he opposed it.

Yet today, he tries to take claim for ending the war. A war that is coming to the very conclusion that was put in motion and being achieved by President Bush. Today, President Obama made quite a point of letting the Iraqi people know that we have given them an opportunity. One that he asked them not squander but he neglected to mention that it is one that he also tried to deny the Iraqi people.

The President’s troop withdrawal speech was a welcomed one. It will be wonderful to see a majority of our forces return in victory. But will President Obama leave Iraq hanging if outside influences try to undo the victory accomplished? Will President Obama take credit for ending the war, the war he objected too.


After all, he is trying to take credit for the terms and conditions of a withdrawal that was already in motion before he took the oath of office. But again, what is more interesting than what President Obama said is what he didn’t say. That troop withdrawal deadline, is subject to conditions on the ground, a phrase commonly used by President George W. Bush and rejected by liberals. Liberals like President Obama rejected any thought about the conditions in Iraq. They just wanted us out.

Will they express the same disdain to President Obama if “conditions on the ground” change and combat forces have to stay any longer than he stated?

Probably not.





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