Barack Obama has campaigned on the promise of “ending the war” in Iraq by withdrawing troops within 16 months. But Michael Crowley of The New Republic, after interviewing senior advisers to the Obama campaign as well as assorted foreign policy experts, has concluded that this pledge is close to a pipe dream. According to Crowley, what Obama “is offering is a basic vision of withdrawal with muddy particulars, one his advisers are still formulating and one that, if he is elected, is destined to meet an even muddier reality on the ground.”
This conclusion is consistent with a statement made by Samatha (Soft) Power, a close adviser to Obama whose big mouth and corresponding ego caused her ouster (and least for public purposes) from the campaign. Power said that Obama’s withdrawal plan amounts to a “best- case scenario” subject to substantial revision when he takes office. In addition, Crowley notes, the New York Sun has reported that the leader of the Obama campaign’s working group on Iraq has produced a paper proposing to leave 60,000-80,000 American troops in Iraq through 2010.
Once again, perhaps, the “change” Obama has been peddling came out second-best in its encounter with reality.