Status of Forces Agreement
Ed Morrissey reminds us that if we’re waiting on the present POTUS to show a little class and at least acknowledge the success in Iraq was due to his predecessor’s strategy and persistence, we shouldn’t hold our breath. Obama’s weekly address is an indicator of why that’s the case:
On Tuesday, after more than seven years, the United States of America will end its combat mission in Iraq and take an important step forward in responsibly ending the Iraq war.
As a candidate for this office, I pledged I would end this war. As president, that is what I am doing. We have brought home more than 90,000 troops since I took office. We have closed or turned over to Iraq hundreds of bases. In many parts of the country, Iraqis have already taken the lead for security.
In the months ahead, our troops will continue to support and train Iraqi forces, partner with Iraqis in counterterrorism missions, and protect our civilian and military efforts. But the bottom line is this: the war is ending. Like any sovereign, independent nation, Iraq is free to chart its own course. And by the end of next year, all of our troops will be home.
Of course he didn’t “end this war”, success has ended it and “we” (meaning “he”) hasn’t brought 90,000 troops home, a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) negotiated by the Bush administration and signed, sealed and delivered before he ever was elected is the reason they’re home.
4 “I”’s, no mention of success, no mention of Bush, and strangely, no mention of inheriting something that seems to be winding up well.
Iraq has been on SOFA auto-drive since the treaty was agreed too by both sides. It has nothing to do with Obama or his “promise”. And I’ll make you a bet right now that he’s wrong about all of our troops being home by “the end of next year”.
As Morrissey notes about that promise:
It’s certainly possible, although very unwise. The Iraqis still don’t have much of an air force or navy, and it will take years to build both. They face pressures from Iran and Syria, and while their army can maintain internal security now, they won’t be any match for Iran or Syria alone, let alone together, if the two countries decide to subjugate Baghdad. I’d put that promise in the easier-said-than-done category, where the promise to close Gitmo wound up. If we’re not involved in combat operations, the political pressure to withdraw those forces drops to about the same level of class shown by Barack Obama in this address.
I’d say that’s about right.