Monday, July 21, 2008

Obama's Iraq Problem

General David Petraeus takes Barack Obama on an aerial tour of Baghdad earlier today

Barack Obama has an Iraq problem. He opposed the invasion from the beginning, he opposed it all through the years and he was opposed to the June 2007 surge. But now as the election looms this November the situation in Iraq appears to be improving. So how does he handle this? It used to be Obamas strength, that he was one of the few opposed to the war from the beginning. It turned out to be a shrewd call as the situation went from bad to disastrous. But there has been an undeniable decrease in violence in Iraq in recent months. When Bush announced the surge Obama criticised it saying it would make the situation worse. It seems he was wrong. Then again, do we really know to what extent the surge is responsible for the improvement in security. Can Obama, on only his second visit to Iraq today, continue on the course of criticising the war in its entirety or will he have to acknowledge its successes. And in either case can he still stick to his campaign pledge to withdraw all US troops within 16 months of entering the White House.

2 comments:

Confucius said...

Does this promise also include removing troops from Afghanistan?

A bit controversial seen as he is intending on deploying in the region of 10,000 more troops there!

Ted Leddy said...

Confucius

Obama does want to send more troops to Afghanistan. He has claimed for a while now that that where the real threat is and that the whole Iraq effort was a mistake. You are right to say its controversial because he basically wants to move troops from Iraq to Afghanistan. Not exactly what his anti war supporters had in mind.