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Report Details Mistakes Made by U.S. in Improvement Projects for Iraq [FLASHBACK]
New York Times ^ | March 6, 2013 | By MICHAEL R. GORDON

Posted on 06/17/2014 11:35:44 AM PDT by Oldeconomybuyer

Before he left his Pentagon post, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta concluded that the inability of the Obama administration to complete an agreement providing for an American military presence in Iraq after 2011 had deprived the United States of important political leverage in Iraq.

When the United States had troops in Iraq, the former defense secretary explained, the American commander and the ambassador in Baghdad “created a strong force” that could often dissuade the Iraqi prime minister, Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, from making “bad decisions” and “going off a cliff.”

But the withdrawal of the last complement of American forces in December 2011 reduced the ability of the United States to shape events there, he said.

President Obama hailed the withdrawal of the final complement of American forces in December 2011 as a fulfillment of his campaign pledge to end the war in Iraq.

But the report notes that Mr. Panetta identified a significant drawback: at a time when there is concern over Mr. Maliki’s growing authoritarianism and increased tensions among Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds, the United States has less influence to push for change within the Iraqi government.

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: failure; iraq; leadingfrombehind; obama

1 posted on 06/17/2014 11:35:44 AM PDT by Oldeconomybuyer
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