I just watched President Obama’s speech on Iraq.
I appreciated that he did not seem to be diving into any “I told you so” kind of talk.
The speech seemed mostly consisting of patriotic rhetoric.
So… Did America win the war in Iraq?
- Saddam Hussein was removed from power.
- Iraqi WMDs are either gone or in Syria, but they don’t have them now.
- Iraq has a government. I am not sure that the U.S. can do anything more militarily to ensure that. I agree with the President that this is ultimately up to the Iraqi people and their natural leadership.
Perhaps we should have pulled out a bit more slowly and it certainly should have been done with much less “we’re losing, it was wrong, so let’s leave” kind of rhetoric (as in what happened in the last presidential campaign).
I think if John McCain would have been elected, the timing of our withdrawal would have been historically similar. That is, it would have only been a few years longer before we pulled out of Iraq. That may be a long time in terms of U.S. Presidential Elections, but it would not have been that long in terms of history.
In other words, President Obama’s election has very little to do in real history with the draw down in Iraq.
I give all of the credit to President Bush and the troops. The results in Iraq would have been disastrous if John Kerry had won in 2004 and actually pulled us out then. (I doubt he would have actually pulled us out.)
I am glad that Obama didn’t pull out as fast as he seemed to think we should during the campaign.
Summary: The U.S. and its coalition of friends has won the war in Iraq as far as achieving the major objectives is concerned. We are pulling out pre-maturely, but only barely pre-maturely (by perhaps 2-3 years).
I’m not an expert on military but there are my thoughts. For free.