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We cannot rid Iraq of every single individual who opposes America or sympathizes.
With our adversaries.
We cannot police.
Indefinitely until they are completely safe.
Nor can we stay until -- -- union is perfect.
We cannot sustain indefinitely a commitment that has put a strain on our military and will cost the American people nearly a trillion dollars.
America's men and women in uniform.
So many of you.
Have fought block by block province by province year after year to give the Iraqis this chance to choose a better future.
Now we must ask the Iraqi People to season.
Welcome back to the fox -- -- -- your host James Rosen and Washington you can join our live chat just below the screen using your FaceBook or Twitter account.
To log in and send us your questions and comments and that was President Obama speaking almost four years ago in February 2009 at Camp Lejeune North Carolina.
About his plans to wind down the Iraq War a promise he has kept.
Here to discuss how that unfolded and what it means for the United States going forward is Michael.
Of the end game the inside story of the struggle for Iraq.
From George W.
Bush to Barack Obama Michael thanks for joining us.
Kind of a longtime admirer of your work.
And tell us it briefly if you would what the end game tells us that we need to know about the Iraq War well.
I covered so much of their record I spent a lot of time there is an embedded correspondent.
And what I think happens in our country unfortunately -- people just move on.
And they don't go back and dig into -- -- -- was all about to a general trainer and I.
Did is we went back and got access to a lot of records General Petraeus is like classified memos to Bob gates things of that sort.
And actually looked into a lot of the decisions and I actually learned a lot doing -- so I think there's some new material in there but one thing I did learn a lot about was what the Obama administration's strategy was correct which is.
Much more complicated.
Strategy then was indicated in the speech he just played and how so.
Well the goal was to do a lot more than just to extricate troops in fact they attempted to retain troops there.
But really they had -- three -- strategy one was to an attempt I certainly didn't understand Torre guided the book they try to shape.
The Iraqi Government they.
Tried to influence the choice of the Iraqi prime minister they -- with an alternative to our minister relic keep and that didn't work.
They resigned themselves to supporting -- lucky but they tried to create a power sharing arrangement Iraq which didn't -- did not materialize.
And -- point to point.
President Obama actually made a call to the president of Iraq Jalal Talabani and asked him to resign his post to make room for another candidate.
So -- the Americans were involved in trying to do political engineering and Iraq just like they're the Bush Administration was so that was one thing they attempted to do.
And they also tried to negotiate an agreement so that we could retain 5000 troops there that didn't materialize for a lot of reasons.
And when it didn't well the troops left in and they proclaimed an end to the war but what they actually tried to do is more ambitious than that.
We first invaded Iraq that he sort of period of shock and all if you will the beginning of this long.
We heard a lot and and continue to hear over the years from President Bush.
That this success or failure of this venture would not be known for quite some time to come -- And of course depended on whether or not a stable government could be stood up in Iraq whether of course at the beginning the dictator would be evicted which eventually was.
Is it still too early to say Michael whether the Iraq War was a success.
I think so for this trees and it's I've been asked this question -- reflected on it.
And people say was it worth it.
And what I think the answer that the best answer I can come up with I think that's question everyone who's participated in this text answer for themselves.
Is that really depends on what Iraq becomes.
In the future over the next five or ten years and what Iraq becomes over the next five or ten years I think depends a lot and the degree of American influence in the country and the ability of the American government to manifest that influence through political means through.
Economic when he's -- -- security cooperation and exert influence and all those areas depends on the will to do so correct in part and do you see that will sagging here at home.
Well I think the administration itself was conflicting.
And so I have a chapter on the the -- negotiations which was the attempt to come up with an agreement to keep American forces in Iraq.
And when I got us the status of forces agreement and what I discovered was at the Pentagon the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Secretary Gates and then Panetta at the State Department Secretary Clinton.
We're we're much more interested in retaining him a modest American military presence in the White House -- which was I think very ambivalent or even agnostic on that.
And so there were conflicts within our own government as to what it meant to retain influence there and part of it was.
The Pentagon really wanted to counterweight to running and influence in the country and -- -- Israel.
Strong enough that for the last several months until very recently.
Iran was flying hundreds of tons of military cargo if you're Iraqi airspace to Syria.
And the administration weighed in and after several months they've.
Pledged Iraqis say they're gonna expect these planes but the point is.
Iraq is positioned somewhere between Iran and the United States.
And there's a battle for influence within Iraq we have about thirty seconds.
And I know all these questions are bigger than this format allows for but.
Do in your view should the American experience in Iraq.
As a tool of American foreign policy.
Regime change well.
I think that's -- not a decision from heard.
For me to make it but you know I will say that.
President Obama -- cute and regime change he did it in Libya.
And he just did it through air power not through ground power -- that seems like the American governments come up with its own answer.
And critical episode in American history you have to read.
These books by Michael.
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