January 8, 2014

Steve Chabot: ‘The Unraveling of Iraq Should Never Have Been Allowed to Happen’

From the blog of Ohio’s First District Congressman (bolds are mine):

Since I’m on the topic of predictions, I’ll discuss one I’d made a few years back. President Obama was making a terrible mistake by pulling all U.S. troops from Iraq. Not a political mistake, because it probably helped him in his re-election campaign against Romney. After all, most people were sick of hearing about Iraq, and wanted to put it behind us as quickly as possible.

But policy-wise, washing our hands of Iraq wasn’t the right thing to do.

… In 2011, in my third visit to Iraq, I had the opportunity to assess the situation on the ground there, and meet with U.S. Embassy personnel, U.S. military personnel, and Iraqi officials. There was virtually unanimous consensus that the U.S. should maintain a military presence there. Not large, in the 10,000 range, mostly to assist and train Iraqis, so they could preserve the progress secured at such a high cost by both Americans and Iraqis.

When the half-hearted effort to reach an agreement on the terms under which U.S. troops would stay failed, President Obama announced he would pull all U.S. troops out, and he did. I and others made gloomy predictions at the time, and unfortunately, those predictions are turning out to be true.

the unraveling of Iraq should never have been allowed to happen.

It’s not like the U.S. has never left troops behind to secure the peace after a war has been won. We left substantial numbers of troops in Germany, Japan, and South Korea after winning military victories there, and far smaller numbers had been contemplated for Iraq. Unfortunately this Administration’s errors aren’t likely to stop with Iraq.

I believe the Obama Administration is headed down the road towards letting any gains in Afghanistan slip away either by a bad deal, or no deal, with the Afghan government. The result there may well be the Taliban back in control in Afghanistan in the not too distant future. And the sacrifices made by so many will have been squandered.

I hope I’m wrong.

Odds are that you’re not, Steve.

Let the record show that George W. Bush won the wars, and Barack H. Obama is on the verge of having lost the peace.

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