For Obama, fresh questions about how wars end

McCain says Obama is 'about to make the same mistake in Afghanistan he made in Iraq'
Associated Press
Jun 16, 2014

From the Rose Garden, President Barack Obama outlined a timetable for the gradual withdrawal of the last U.S. troops in Afghanistan and said confidently, "This is how wars end in the 21st century."

But less than three weeks after his May 27 announcement, there is a sudden burst of uncertainty surrounding the way Obama has moved to bring the two conflicts he inherited to a close.

In Iraq, a fast-moving Islamic insurgency is pressing toward Baghdad, raising the possibility of fresh American military action more than two years after the last U.S. troops withdrew. The chaos in Iraq also raises questions about whether Obama's plans to keep a small military presence in Afghanistan until the end of 2016 can prevent a similar backslide there or whether extremists are simply lying in wait until the U.S. withdrawal deadline passes.

"Could all of this have been avoided? The answer is absolutely yes," Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said of the deteriorating situation in Iraq. McCain, one of the White House's chief foreign policy critics and Obama's 2008 presidential rival, added that

That criticism strikes at the heart of Obama's clearest foreign policy pledge: a commitment to ending the conflicts started by his predecessor, George W. Bush, and keeping the U.S. out of further military entanglements.

The turmoil in Iraq presents a particularly troubling dilemma for the White House. Obama's early opposition to the Iraq war was a defining factor in his 2008 presidential campaign and he cast the withdrawal of all American troops in late 2011 as a promise fulfilled. The president and his top advisers have since cited the end of the war as one of Obama's top achievements in office.

But the vacuum left by American forces has been filled by waves of resurgent violence and burgeoning Sunni extremism. Still, Obama resisted calls for the U.S. to get involved, saying it was now Iraq's sovereign government's responsibility to ensure the country's security.

The current situation in Iraq appears to have made that stance untenable.

Obama, who once called Iraq a "dumb war," now says it is clear the government in Baghdad needs more help from the U.S. in order to contain a violent al-Qaida inspired group that, he said, could pose a threat to American security interests.

While the White House is still evaluating a range of options, administration officials say the president is considering strikes with manned aircrafts, but only if Iraqi leaders were to outline a political plan for easing sectarian tensions.

Even limited and targeted U.S. airstrikes in Iraq would mark an almost unimaginable turn of events for many of the war-weary Americans who twice elected Obama president.

"If the president decides to double down on George W. Bush's disastrous decision to invade Iraq by launching a new round of bombing strikes, Iraq will become Barack Obama's war," said Becky Bond, political director of the progressive organization CREDO.

White House officials say it's unclear whether keeping a small contingent of American troops in Iraq after 2011 could have prevented the violence plaguing the country now. Obama did seek to reach a bilateral security accord with Iraq that would have allowed U.S. forces to stay, but an agreement could not be reached and all American forces were ordered out.

Obama has put far more effort into finalizing a security agreement with Afghanistan that will allow some U.S. troops to stay in the country after combat operations formally end later this year. The administration's goal is in part to avoid a repeat of Iraq and give the U.S. military more time to strengthen Afghan security forces.

The Afghan government is expected to sign a security agreement after final results from Saturday's presidential runoff election are set to be released July 22.

Under the plan Obama announced in the Rose Garden in late May, about 10,000 troops would stay in Afghanistan at the end of the year, but be fully withdrawn by the time his presidency is coming to a close at the end of 2016.

For those tired of war, Obama's plan keeps Americans in Afghanistan too long. For the president's critics, his plan brings Americans home too soon and gives insurgents too clear a roadmap of the military's plans.

Obama acknowledged the unsatisfying nature of ending a war without signing ceremonies or clearly defined winners and losers. In a statement that seems all the more true given the past week's developments in Iraq, he said, "I think Americans have learned that it's harder to end wars than it is to begin them."

 

Comments

holysee

Wars never end. We are in a constant state of warfare, weapons being one of the last Truly American industries. We had no bidness being in iraq or any ganistan.

ContraryAnn

True. The 38th parallel was crossed 64 years ago June 25.

And still we are there and the North is threatening nuclear bombs and Americans still are dying there.

And we never learn. We set up a democratic government in Vietnam.... now we enjoy Vietnam cuisine in a Sandusky restaurant. And still there are Americans missing in Vietnam.

freespeech1

Americans still dying in Korea? Please have some proof. I served on that border in Panmunjom JSA (Joint Security Area)for 13 months and saw none of that.

worddrow811

holysee you are 100% correct. If the money spent on weapons was used for the good of humanity, there would be no more wars. The greedy only think of their profit and how much of a luxury lifestyle that they can maintain. The arrogant only think of their name going down in history and whether or not a movie will be made. They never put you or I or anybody in their constant need to have more money!

The Big Dog's back

If it were up to McLame we would be in the midst of a nuclear holocaust.

coasterfan

I agree with Big Dog. If we followed McCain's advice, we would be trying to fund several new wars, in addition to remaining in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

freespeech1

So, the Obama, and the Obama Administration Plan: Support Enemies of the United States.

We have seen Obama and his Administration Provide Weapons, Food, Shelter, Medical Supplies, Training, Funding, and Equipment to al-Qeada, ISIS, NEO-NAZIs in Ukraine, Mexican Drug Cartels, Hezbollah Terrorist in South America, Taliban, and now Iran, next week it will be North Korea.

So, the United States have Sanctions on Iran, complain about Iran’s Nuclear Program, Condemn Iran for Sending Fighters to Bolster the Assad Regime in Syria, and now these goofy bastards (Obama and his Administration) want to play “Hide the Salami” with Iran because Iran already has sent Troops into Iraq to try and help save the Iraqi Government.

Something is not right here with Obama, his Administration, and Several Members of Congress who are willing to “Sleep with the Devil” to achieve their Agenda.

Someone Needs to ask this Question: Is the American Public this Stupid to not see what is going on?

ContraryAnn

WHO DO YOU THINK ARMED THE TALIBAN?
Reagan in 1980 to help Afghanistan fight the Russians.

Of course there was the Shah we propped up in Iran until we failed at that.

I don't know.... were YOU "this stupid" when Reagan armed the people who killed the marines in their barracks? Or when Reagan armed "the good guy" Taliban in Iraq? Or when Clive Bundy exercised his free speech and inspired two followers with his words to kill two policemen eating lunch?
You know all about stupid don't you?

Contango

Re: "Or when Reagan armed "the good guy" Taliban in Iraq?"

The "Taliban in Iraq"?

Arming the mujahedeen began under Pres. Carter in AFGHANISTAN.

grumpy

Well let's see... Carter started arming Afganistan's mujahadeen in the 70's, and Reagan continued it. Near as I can see Reagan wouldn't have been able to do much with the Taliban in Iraq in 80 as he wasn't President till 81, and I have doubts there was a Taliban in Iraq or Iran back then, but I can be shown different if you have links. Is Reagn continuing what Carter started much different than obama continuing what bush started?... or did Clinton start it when he was bombing anti aircraft emplacements in Iraq that shot at US planes flying over Iraq without Iraq's permission? Did that for several years. How far back do folks wish to go to point fingers? Do you want to go back to where the English made countries out of tribal lands? When those countries borders tried to split up different tribes and sects of religion? We can go back even further if you want to really dig into history of the area. Where do you think is a fair place to start?

Contango

Re: "we would be trying to fund several new wars, in addition to remaining in both Iraq and Afghanistan."

How is that any different under Pres. Obama?

Donegan

Guess you haven't heard, McCain lost your god has been in office for 6 years and we are still at war, He's even picked a few more. You deflection does nothing but showcase your bias for you god and hypocrisy.

ContraryAnn

Please identify all these other wars?

Or did you mean the Tea liban who fly the Yello Flag of Rebellion.

Donegan

Watch something other than the comedy channel and you might know the answer to you stupidity.
"Yello flag of rebellion"? Are you referring to the Gadsden flag? That flag was used during the revolution to fight a king, Pretty much the same as it is today except you and your ilk think Obama is a god.
I cannot help the fact you want to fundamentally want to change the US because you hate it so much but i can say there are those of us who like our country with all of its flaws better than the third world sh** holes you want to emulate.

deertracker

Why would anyone listen to McCain? He is no war hero just a loud mouth entitled 1%er!

Dr. Information

Haha, this coming from someone who never served an ounce in his life. McCain, hate him or like him is more qualified in anything over you.

Just more party hate here from the deer.

deertracker

You obviously don't know the guy's history.

Contango

Re: "the guy's history."

Read: "When Hell was in Session" and other books about the Hanoi Hilton, jack*ss.

Contango

Re: "the guy's history."

Listen to Captain Coffee's story, jack*ss.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j...

deertracker

How many fighter jets did he crash? Why did he get shot down so easily? He was propped up by his relatives that had served. You go fight for the Iraqis pooh. Send your loved ones. It is always COWARDS like you that want others to die for your agenda.

Obama is spot on about this.

Contango

Re: "Obama is spot on about this."

He sent a battle group into the Persian Gulf, jack*ss.

http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline...

deertracker

A battle group or the USS George H.W. Bush?

Darwin's choice

More blatant ignorance from the moonbat!

deertracker

IS moonbat an 1800 word? You can do better than that can't you witty?

goofus

deerpooptracker, the Bush is part of carrier strike force two. It is a strike force battle group.

goofus

deertracker, the Bush is part of carrier strike force two. It is a strike force battle group.

jazzbo

You're right Deertracker ,

The cowards and the chickenhawks want to send YOU to war.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4...

Contango

“I was not in any branch of the service and I am proud of that.”

- deertracker, 6/5/14

deertracker

6/16/12014

I was not nor would I allow my sons to join the military and still proud of it. There's no honor in dying in a foreign country for a LIE!
.
Quote that!!!!!!!!!!!

Contango

Re: "There's no honor in dying in a foreign country for a LIE!"

So to you, those 58,300 U.S. servicemen and women killed in Vietnam were dishonorable, jack*ss?

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