Iraq: A Failure of Diplomacy

The Iraqis kicked us out. After investing hundreds of billions of dollars and sacrificing over 4,000 American servicemen and women (and tens of thousands of more Iraqi soldiers and civilians), the Obama administration finally gave up. President Obama had opposed the war, and his team couldn’t be bothered to flex the diplomatic muscle necessary to ensure all our efforts there hadn’t gone to waste.

You get the sense that the administration won’t even care too much if Iraq unravels — they’ll still be able to pat themselves on the back for the positions they took in 2003. We may be witnessing a kind of I-told-you-so diplomacy, concerned more with past-score settling and domestic politics than with what’s best for the United States and the Middle East. When it came time to work out a deal to allow a stabilizing force of American troops to stay, Obama reportedly wouldn’t even pick up the phone. According to phone logs released by the U.S. embassy in Baghdad, Obama called Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki twice this year — once on February 13, and once just over a week ago to tell al-Maliki that U.S. troops would be gone by the end of the year.    

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