Military Drawdown in Iraq a 'Diplomatic Failure'?
Panel weighs in on troop withdrawal
- Duration 6:50
- Date Oct 21, 2011
Panel weighs in on troop withdrawal
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Today I can report that has promise.
The rest of our troops in Iraq -- come home by the end of the year.
After nearly nine years.
America's war in Iraq we'll be over.
Well it didn't come as a big surprise that there was still considerable drama as President Obama made it official.
US forces are getting out of Iraq let's bring in our panel.
Steve Hayes of the weekly standard Rick Klein from ABC news and syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer -- a state that the president announced.
The total withdrawal today as if it were a victory but the fact is that US commanders on the ground -- -- somewhere between fifteen and 25000 troops.
To serve his trainers and advisors to the Iraqis and may be also did try to get the Iran Iranians to keep their hands off so how should we look at.
Today's development is why I think it's a it's a major setback I think it is truly does jeopardize all of the -- that the United States.
Has made in Iraq over the past eight years.
I think it's largely succeeds the region to Iran at a time when Iran is emboldened because of its of the power that it's showing in the region.
The -- it has across.
The -- It's I think it's overall it's a very very bad outcome that does a disservice to our men and women in uniform and the people who -- have sacrificed on the diplomatic side for the past several years.
But that Charles we have been there nine years at some point -- Iraqis have to stand up for themselves yes but we have to think about our interests.
And the reason that the Pentagon wanted to make and enforce.
Between say 20000 or more.
Is because they wanted to make any strategic relationship with -- -- in the heart of Mesopotamia.
Which would have been extremely important in the same way that we retain -- forces in Korea Germany and Japan.
Fifty years ago to our advantage.
And the reason depending on one of that is because if we left them there -- trainers helping to train.
The Iraqis are there are also developing an air force they have -- on the receiving American airplanes.
Also as a respected peace keepers between the Kurds and Arabs we -- -- had a presence and been able to help resist Iranian incursion.
And it isn't as if the deadline sprung up on this administration.
I didn't know where it had three years to negotiate this He failed it to junctures it did not.
Helped to put together a coalition that government of allowing you representing the Sunnis Maliki a Shiite it would have been a grand.
Coalition all the major parties.
In the country want Americans except.
Solder who's the -- -- and patient and that he's a relatively small minority and we yet failed.
Would that a large majority in parliament who want -- -- to stay to work out an agreement it is a monumental.
For an administration.
That had to -- the previous initiation of freewheeling.
The heavy military -- and prided himself on being sophisticated and smart diplomacy.
This is a big big family.
But Rick I mean let's look at it from the Iraqi side -- yes there may be some people who wanted us to -- but Muqtada.
-- the the radical Shiite cleric.
Didn't and have a lot of -- YE a lot of clout would nori Al-Maliki the prime minister.
And the sense one got is that Monica wasn't anxious to have a -- He was the one who insisted on what some call the poison pill.
That by -- US troops is -- we're not going to be given legal immunity debt and that was critical here I think otherwise would be talking about a much different stories today but both the White House knew.
They were gonna have to take.
This step because of that and this would let you said not a surprise we're coming to this point for some time.
I think in terms of pulling off this mandated timing here is interest thing I think the White House all we know.
After the death of Qaddafi where they could capitalize on this and make it part of a broader argument about some foreign policy successes try to package it this way.
Keep in mind this is that this is a man who first and the politics.
As the anti Iraq War candidate that's the reason He came into prominence in the first place this is a -- book and at least certainly for his base to be able to say I ended that war.
Let's look if we -- -- at the cost of the war let's put some of that up on the screen and these are just some markers of the cost of the -- 4482.
US troops killed more than 32000.
Injured cost to the word of the US 805 billion dollars -- doesn't even Begin to talk about.
The Iraqi casualties which had by all estimates are over a 100000.
Which of course raises the central questions -- wasn't worth it.
Yeah I mean I think it was absolutely worth doing it the reason that I think this is such a bad decisions because it jeopardizes the things that we've established there I mean that the idea that the United States could have a solid and strong partner in the region at a time when there's so much turmoil where we could.
Extend our influence we could project our values and our power and -- -- apologetic about it.
I think it would have been tremendously helpful for -- help shape outcomes not only in Iraq.
Not -- with the rom for potentially in Afghanistan but across the region and it seems like -- so receded that.
To the Iraqis are to whomever might step in which I think Iran is likely do you agree with what Rick says is it is a good point.
The with nobody should be surprised about this President Obama campaigned on -- He said He was going to do it.
They pride at the end.
To keep 3000 to 5000 troops in below what commanders -- -- but what the president wanted.
In this sense he's fulfilling his campaign promise I just disagreed with him and I disagree with.
-- It's wasn't worth it look we will argue decades over live in the same way that you can -- you.
Ask whether those -- there of the ten times as many Americans who died in Korea.
Was worth it for half a peninsula that did not affect.
The outcome of the Cold War but whether or not you thought at the beginning -- Obama we should have gone in or not.
The fact is in 2011.
For losses the blood and the treasure was already spent the question was given that that -- -- happened.
Would we garnered the strategic and -- -- at all that sacrifice.
And -- success of the surge had bequeathed us or to squander it and to give it away Obama gave it away.
And and -- there obviously is a political component to this as well as a lot of other aspects Rick.
How much will this help Obama with the left the argument.
I kept my promise -- campaigned on this and I made an app that's right you can check that box and be pretty proud of the fact that He T fulfilled this promise I think it was critical for him He would -- a hard time explaining how.
His Nobel Peace Prize winning president had had escalated the war in Afghanistan and kept the war going in Iraq.
Started another one in Libya it was a difficult narrative -- to get a handle on I think this at least gives them something of a success story for the base that was counting on the.