I can’t find any arguments to support Sen. Graham’s view that the US withdrawal in 2011 was unnecessary. He says bullshit to the statement that Obama withdrew US forces in 2011 because Iraq would not sign a status of forces agreement with the US.
I have reread the wikipedia pages on the subject and a couple of articles written in the years after the withdrawal, but I don’t understand Sen. Grahams point of view.
Can someone explain why Obama is blamed by some people for withdrawing troops?
To get things started here are some historical facts:
The US and Iraq signed a SOFA in 2008 stating clearly that all US forces would be withdrawn by Dec 31 2011. This SOFA was signed by President Bush and the Iraqi Government.
The US was very reluctant to sign and Bush only did so because he needed a SOFA immediately and the Iraqis refused to budge on setting a specific date. At the time, Iraqi security was improving rapidly and oil production had reached 2 million barrels a day. Popular support for the US presence ranged from the low 20s to single digits.
Obama campaigned on removing troops from Iraq and kept promising to do exactly that in the first years of his administration.
Many people (for example the US ambassador to Iraq and the US military) advocated leaving a small force behind. Some members of the Iraqi military privately supported the idea.
Obama eventually agreed to leave 5000 troops in Iraq as trainers and advisors-assuming a new SOFA could be negotiated. This was considered by many to be too small a number to be useful.
No SOFA could be negotiated and the troops left on schedule. Obama is reported to have not pushed very hard for an agreement and there was very little support inside the Iraqi government. Many people, including Sen. Graham, argued at the time that it was a bad idea. Which it turned out to be-especially for Iraq.
So, to repeat my original question:
Can someone list the arguments for why Obama, and not Obama and the Iraqi Government, is blamed by some people for withdrawing troops?
“He didn’t try hard enough.” Is the only explanation I can find.