July 31, 2013

The First Glimmer

Richard Fernandez | Belmont Club | The New York Times writes “Al Qaeda in Iraq Scores Big”. The piece is signed by the editorial board too. It describes the negative consequences of the President’s hasty abandonment of Iraq. But more properly considered, it is an indictment of a whole strategy. For the consequences of that failed plan are rippling not just through Iraq, but North Africa, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria. Before the end the consequences may spread to Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

Iraq is a sovereign country, responsible for its own security. But Iraq might have been better able to repel Al Qaeda if Mr. Maliki and the Americans had worked harder on a deal to keep a token number of troops in the country to continue helping with training and intelligence-gathering. Not surprising, Mr. Maliki’s interest in such an arrangement has grown; Army Special Operations and the C.I.A. reportedly have small units in the country to assist in counterterrorism activities.

Well let’s not forget the breakouts in Libya or Pakistan either. That last paragraph– “but Iraq might have been better able to repel Al Qaeda if Mr. Maliki and the Americans had worked harder on a deal to keep a token number of troops in the country to continue helping with training and intelligence-gathering ” –  is probably as close to eating crow as anything recently published by the Gray Lady. Time to re-excerpt my old post, the Ten Ships, published in May, 2010, which if read, might have made the NYT’s surprise and astonishment at the burgeoning disaster less.

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