What Lies Ahead In Iraq?

As the war winds down, Eli Lake looks ahead to the future of U.S. military involvement in Iraq. Relying in part on a memo by retired General Barry McCaffrey, Lake describes the U.S. forces that are likely to remain in Iraq for some years to come, and the roles they are likely to play under the newly-adopted Status of Forces Agreement. Iraq’s military has made it clear that it wants ongoing help from American armed forces, and regional Iraqi authorities, especially in Anbar and the Kurdish north, have indicated that they envision a long-term relationship with the American military not unlike what we have seen in Germany and Japan.

Will any of this change under an Obama administration? It seems doubtful. It is not in Obama’s interest for the security gains our troops have made in Iraq to be lost. The future of Iraq will probably be about the same in an Obama administration as it would have been in a third George W. Bush term.

A commenter on Lake’s article writes:

So the real Obama begins to emerge from the campaign fog. You have to admire the guy: he’s highly pragmatic, intelligent and most of all…cunning. All the anti-war talk during the campaign was a ruse to charm the Left. Obviously, it worked. They’re trying to figure out what hit them, and whether they should get mad or not. Now, faced with reality, he’ll follow a course that is virtually a carbon copy of what Pres. McCain would have done. Obama will describe it much differently, of course, to keep tranquilizing the Left. But the substance will be the same.

I think that’s probably true.

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