The Price of Abandoning Iraq
Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.
As recently as 2009, then-CIA Director Michael Hayden said, “Al-Qaida is on the verge of a strategic defeat in Iraq.” Yet in just a few short years, we have watched the entire Middle East melt down in the “Arab Spring” after Barack Obama sounded the retreat from Iraq and Afghanistan, falsely claiming that al-Qaida and Islamic terrorism were “on the run” after Osama bin Laden’s termination. Indeed, jihadis with the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have now seized the key Iraqi cities of Mosul and Tikrit – after retaking Fallujah in January. Baghdad is next. According to an American counterterrorism official, “The group looks at Syria and Iraq as one interchangeable battlefield, and its ability to shift resources and personnel across the border has measurably strengthened its position in both theaters.” If the U.S. still had a sizable troop presence in Iraq, it’s possible – if not likely – that Iraq would be stable today. Perhaps even Syria would be. Instead, the region has paid a high price for BO’s Hope ‘n’ Change, as al-Qaida didn’t die just because Obama said it had.
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