Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, said both Mr. Obama and Mr. al-Maliki had failed in deciding to remove the U.S. military before the country had firmly established itself as a secure and sovereign democracy.
Mr. McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee who lost to Mr. Obama in the general election, has pushed for a continued U.S. military presence in the region beyond 2011.
Ken Pollack, who served as director for Persian Gulf affairs at the National Security Council during the Clinton administration and now heads the Saban Center at the Brookings Institute, said Iraq was in better shape when Mr. Obama took office in 2009 than it is now after suffering a series of political and security setbacks, including the infiltration of a number of Iran-backed militias.
“All of the progress that both Iraqis and Americans have made, at such painful and substantial cost, has now been put at greater risk. I hope I am wrong, but I fear I am not,” he said. “It did not have to be this way, and the fact that it is has everything to do with a failure of vision, commitment and leadership both in Washington and Baghdad.”
By withdrawing all U.S. troops, Mr. Pollack said, Iraq is far more susceptible to returning to civil war, which would have a destabilizing effect on the entire region and, in turn, could create a spike in oil prices and hurt our own economy in the process.
“I completely sympathize with the sentiment of the American people that the Middle East is a gigantic mess and we can’t solve it,” he said. “But unfortunately, the Middle East is not Las Vegas. What happens there doesn’t stay there.”
“We learned that lesson on 9/11. When you slap a Band-Aid on the Middle East, it never works. The problems always get worse and the Band-Aid always needs to get bigger.”
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
Susan Crabtree is an award-winning investigative reporter with more than 15 years of reporting experience in Washington, D.C. Her reporting about bribery, corruption and conflict-of-interest issues on Capitol Hill has led to several FBI and ethics investigations, as well as consequences for members within their caucuses and at the ballot box. Susan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Jay Sekulow
The left's outrage over the IRS turns to a plea to 'move on'
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
A collection of reader guest articles, thoughts and opinions by Communities writers and breaking news and information.
News and opinion from a Millennial Urbanite with Southern sensibilities,
Politics and pop culture from the perspective of an independent hip-hop conservative
Positive propaganda for a nation in peril.
World's Ugliest Dog Contest
Spelling Bee finale
Marines train Afghan soldiers
Rolling Thunder 2013
Benghazi: The anatomy of a scandal