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Iraq may be moot point in campaign after Bush deal

The Bush Administration expects to sign a new deal with the Iraqi government this summer which will replace the UN Security Council Resolutions in governing our relationship, and could also take Iraq off the table for the fall elections - as well as for the next Administration. Michael Hirsh reports for Newsweek:


Most significant of all, the new partnership deal with Iraq, including a status of forces agreement that would then replace the existing Security Council mandate authorizing the presence of the U.S.-led multinational forces in Iraq, will become a sworn obligation for the next president. It will become just another piece of the complex global security framework involving a hundred or so countries with which Washington now has bilateral defense or security cooperation agreements. Last month, Sen. Hillary Clinton urged Bush not to commit to any such agreement without congressional approval. The president said nothing about that on Saturday, but Lute said last fall that the Iraqi agreement would not likely rise to the level of a formal treaty requiring Senate ratification. Even so, it would be difficult if not impossible for future presidents to unilaterally breach such a pact.

As far as the number of U.S. troops that would remain in Iraq under such a pact, the administration is considering changes that could also pre-empt anything the Democrats have in mind.

* * * * *

The upshot is that the next president, Democrat or Republican, is likely to be handed a fait accompli that could well render moot his or her own elaborate withdrawal plans, especially the ones being considered by the two leading Democratic contenders, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Obama, undeterred by the reported success of Bush's surge, is pushing ahead with his plans for a brigade-a-month withdrawals that would remove the U.S. military presence entirely.


Read it all at the link above. These security arrangements aren't "set in stone" to the degree a formal treaty, ratified by the Senate, would be, but they still represent a commitment of American policy which cannot be easily undone. For instance, a President attempting to reverse such policies completely would not only undermine our credibility to our allies and enemies, but would also create the doubt his own agreements could survive his tenure in office.

Even on his way out the door, Bush wins again.


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Comments (30)

While it makes it harder, i... (Below threshold)
yetanotherjohn:

While it makes it harder, it wouldn't make it impossible. Of course, it also provides a fig leaf to cover a change from campaign rhetoric to real world governing.

All in all it is still a good thing.

Buwawahahahaha!But... (Below threshold)
marc:

Buwawahahahaha!

But remember "they" all say he's dumb.

Here's more on a Status of Forces Agreement.

It has always amazed me tha... (Below threshold)
kimsch Author Profile Page:

It has always amazed me that Hillary and Barry can make these promises to withdraw troops an entire year before either one could possibly be inaugurated to do so. Who knows exactly what the situation will be 374 days from now?

Hillary said that on the day she's inaugurated she'll get together with her cabinet and the joint chiefs and make a plan to withdraw in 30 days.

If she were to be elected, shouldn't she start talking to her cabinet choices right away?

What would happen if she can't get senate approval for her cabinet choices within 30 days of her inauguration? How then could she withdraw troops?

You can't move 130000 soldi... (Below threshold)
David:

You can't move 130000 soldiers safely from Iraq in a month. She's an idiot.

kimsch - "Hillary said ... (Below threshold)
marc:

kimsch - "Hillary said that on the day she's inaugurated she'll get together with her cabinet and the joint chiefs and make a plan to withdraw in 30 days."

Just in the last 72 hours she claimed she would pull them in 120 days. So take your pick which is correct.

Also remember she wouldn't commit to having troops out prior to 2013 during one Dem debate.

Again, take your pick which is fact and which is fiction.

This really isn't surprisin... (Below threshold)
Globo:

This really isn't surprising. Moonbats like me always said that the whole point of the surge was to keep us in Iraq forever.

Bush knows we can't "win" in Iraq; his purpose is to make it harder for the next President to withdraw troops from Iraq, because Bush wants many more Americans to die in Iraq.

So we see again that Bush hates America and wants to keep America in Iraq, because he knows that this will hurt and humiliate the Americans Bush hates so much. And this is news?

Globo - "his purpose is... (Below threshold)
marc:

Globo - "his purpose is to make it harder for the next President to withdraw troops from Iraq, because Bush wants many more Americans to die in Iraq.

So we see again that Bush hates America and wants to keep America in Iraq, because he knows that this will hurt and humiliate the Americans Bush hates so much. And this is news?

Well, you're correct on one thing... you're a died-in-the-wool moonbat.

But perhaps your could expound on why Bush hates America? For what purpose does he desire more Americans to die there?

And BTW globo... Clinton, O... (Below threshold)
marc:

And BTW globo... Clinton, Obama and Edwards all have said they wouldn't commit to bringing troops home until after 2013. Do THEY hate America to?

But perhaps your could e... (Below threshold)
Globo:

But perhaps your could expound on why Bush hates America? For what purpose does he desire more Americans to die there?

Simple. If he pulled out of Iraq he'd be admitting that he was wrong to invade.

That was the point of the surge. It did nothing except help reduce violence to horrific 2005 levels and kill 800 more Americans, but if he hadn't surged, he'd have had to pull out. Bush decided that he'd rather see more Americans die than admit he was wrong.

So Bush puts his own ego ahead of America's national interests. He knows it is in America's interest to leave Iraq (after all, Bush is a smart person -- yes, he is smart -- so he isn't dumb enough to think we can "win" in Iraq). But he would rather protect his own ego and his place in the history books than protect America. What else can you call someone like that, but an America-hater?

Globo, go stick your head i... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

Globo, go stick your head in the comode and keep flushing until you die. You are too stupid to live among humans but will fit right in with what has been flushed previously.

Not to worry about the cowardly anti-american democrats. We (and I was there) won the war in Vietnam, helped the country form a government and turned the defense over to them. Over a year after our combat troops left the democrats surrendered to the communist. Result, the blood of 3 to 5 million people on the hands of anyone who votes for a democrat. That's why they're so crazy today, guilt over what they did, and hate for everyone, including each other, has driven them to it.
The cowardly democrats will do the same again so the Iraqi's had better get ready to be slaughtered at the hands of the terrorists supported by the U.S. democrat party.

Not to worry about the c... (Below threshold)
Globo:

Not to worry about the cowardly anti-american democrats. We (and I was there) won the war in Vietnam, helped the country form a government and turned the defense over to them. Over a year after our combat troops left the democrats surrendered to the communist.

Um, no. The government, like Iraq's government, had no power and no legitimacy. You may think that we "won" in Vietnam, but actually we made things worse: the war killed more Vietnamese than the communists did, and by staying too long, we made it possible for Pol Pot to rise to power in Cambodia.

So, like today, the blood is on the hands of the hawks, and continuing an unnecessary war always kills more people.

More bad news for the left;... (Below threshold)
Jumpinjoe:

More bad news for the left; With violence down, Iraqi Army taking over and now Political reconciliation.

Iraq to Reinstate Ex-Saddam Supporters

Nothing like a good victory parade with all the returning troops down Broadway this summer all the while the Democratic Party nominee is saying "we lost the war".

This is bad news for the lefties indeed.

Marc,take your... (Below threshold)
kimsch Author Profile Page:

Marc,

take your pick

I know.

Simple. If he pull... (Below threshold)
Jumpinjoe:
Simple. If he pulled out of Iraq he'd be admitting that he was wrong to invade.

We'll be pulling out sooner than you think. But it will be accompanied with a Victory Parade.

Grand marshal will be the CiC President Bush.

Global - "So Bush puts ... (Below threshold)
marc:

Global - "So Bush puts his own ego ahead of America's national interests. He knows it is in America's interest to leave Iraq."

And how would that serve U.S. interest?

"You may think that we "won" in Vietnam, but actually we made things worse: the war killed more Vietnamese than the communists did,"

Your foil hat is shining brightly.

The fall of Saigon happened 30 April 1975, two years AFTER the American military left Vietnam. The last American troops departed in their entirety 29 March 1973. How could we lose a war we had already stopped fighting?

220, 557 South Vietnamese were killed, and it may have been many more as the Vietnamese carried their dead away.

Emboldened the communists invaded and overun the gov of Cambodia and killed an estimated 1-2 million people, in addition to the hundreds of thousands they killed in Vietnam itself.

Global... you're a typical moonbat and revisionist of history to fit your delusions.

Globo, you are lying about ... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

Globo, you are lying about the Vietnam war - do you hate america?

SPQR... how do you hate som... (Below threshold)
marc:

SPQR... how do you hate something you know so little about SPQR?

Oh... wait, I forgot about the foil hat being too tight.

NEVERMIND.

The US should maintain a pe... (Below threshold)

The US should maintain a permanent base in Iraq and this approach is a brilliant political maneuver that will allow the president's enemies in congress to acquiesce on the matter without committing political suicide.

I disagree with our president on many domestic spending policies that he has not wielded the veto pen on; but, on foreign policy, The Great War on Terror and persevering in Iraq he has shown great courage, a willingness to change strategies and resolve in the face of almost unprecedented criticism from the MSM and political opponents.

The Status of Forces Agreement is brilliant: I sense Cheney in this move also.

HughS - "The US should ... (Below threshold)
marc:

HughS - "The US should maintain a permanent base in Iraq and this approach is a brilliant political maneuver that will allow the president's enemies in congress to acquiesce on the matter without committing political suicide.

Exactly, and that will eventually be the case despite the few lunatics and deniers in the Dem
Party.

This kind of agreement coul... (Below threshold)
pennywit:

This kind of agreement could go well for the US, or it could go poorly. From a political standpoint, I'm not sure it's a good idea for President Bush to limit his successor's latitude. But we'll see how it goes.

--|PW|--

MarcGiven the... (Below threshold)


Marc
Given the BDS epidemic on the Left you have to wonder if there is a Democrat presidential candidate anywhere, except Lieberman, that has the guts and foresight to bring about this result.

The only other major strategic foreign policy decision of this magnitude in the Middle East that was made by a Democrat President was Carter's abandonment of Iran. We have paid for that legacy for decades.

PWFrom a pol... (Below threshold)

PW

From a political standpoint, I'm not sure it's a good idea for President Bush to limit his successor's latitude.

With all due respect, that is the inevitable product of presidential leadership. It works both ways. In the present case, with the benefit of hindsight, I'm sure Bush would have preferred a different response after the first World trade Center bombing, the African embassy bombings, the bombing of the Khobar Towers and the attack on the USS Cole.

No matter who wins we are n... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

No matter who wins we are not leaving Iraq in any hurry.

Set your watch now.

HughS - "The only other... (Below threshold)
marc:

HughS - "The only other major strategic foreign policy decision of this magnitude in the Middle East that was made by a Democrat President was Carter's abandonment of Iran. We have paid for that legacy for decades."

To a point I agree, but I give Slick Willie his due with his efforts in the Pali/Israel situation.

Granted his motivation was a "legacy" and a possible Nobel, where he fell on his ass is actually thinking AraRat could be trusted to do anything but perpetuate hate, terror and discontent in the Middle East.

PW - "From a political ... (Below threshold)
marc:

PW - "From a political standpoint, I'm not sure it's a good idea for President Bush to limit his successor's latitude."

That's debatable but really, how is that different than a Repub of Dem Pres appointing lifetime posits on the Supreme Court?

Oh... and I forgot to add..... (Below threshold)
marc:

Oh... and I forgot to add... didn't Clinton and his Congress do just that by advocating the U.S. position to bring down Saddam?

Bwhahahahahahaha......Bush ... (Below threshold)
Jo:

Bwhahahahahahaha......Bush wins AGAIN!!!

Globo is just ticked that it's coming out that Soros secretly funded a study that greatly inflated the war dead in Iraq. (GOTCHA!)

And Sidney Blumenthal arrested for aggrevated DUI...

And Hillary supporters suing now to make it harder for union workers to vote next week.

Not a good week for the dems....yeeeehaw.

heh'misunderestima... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

heh

'misunderestimated' ... yet again.

Don't bet against Dubya where the stakes matter. Mebbe he won't win every hand, but when its over he will hold the most chips.

Nice that he can find a way to protect in the neighborhood of 30 million innocents by getting such a deal. And unlike many folks, the Dubs I know was thinkin' of the Iraqi people's welfare more than the Dems ever weill.

DAMN that Iraqi housing mar... (Below threshold)
marc:

DAMN that Iraqi housing market!

How can it be booming like that!

Not to mention the banking business:

One of Iraq's biggest private banks has a luxuriously designed office above the Baghdad Stock Exchange and I asked a senior executive how business was now compared to those glory days of the 1980s that Naimah, the estate agent, had spoken about.

"People didn't trust the banks, then," said the financier Mohammed Issa.

His accent was East Coast American and he wore a brown suit with a brightly coloured open-necked shirt.

He would have a panoramic view across Baghdad except the window was blocked by glass cabinets with ornamental displays - again to shield against a bomb attack.

"We had, maybe 4,000 clients under Saddam. Now we have 50,000," he explained.

I blame Bush.

Hillary said that ... (Below threshold)
Anon Y. Mous:
Hillary said that on the day she's inaugurated she'll get together with her cabinet and the joint chiefs and make a plan to withdraw in 30 days.

I think some people are misinterpreting what she's promising - she's not promising to withdraw in 30 days, she's promising to use that first 30 days to come up with a plan. As far as how long it will take her to implement the plan, she hasn't specified.




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