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The next President's first challenge.


Dan Froomkin - Bush's Secret Iraq Deal - washingtonpost.com
Despite opposition from both the Iraqi and American people, President Bush appears to be forging ahead on a multi-year security agreement with the Iraqi government that would lock in the occupation status quo.
So we all know they're building Disneyland in Bagdad, and three acres of embassy. While the spokespieces routinely deny that there will be no "permanent bases" in Iraq, and that this is not the policy the administration pursues. The question, however, is what "permanent base" means. Germany and Japan, for example, do not have permanent american military bases. But they will be there for the foreseeable future.

Meanwhile, Bush has woved to go ahead with a treaty with Iraq that he does not think needs approval from Congress - and will no doubt get something on the table whether the Iraqi or Iranian (Maliki sees the Iranians regularly), or any neighboring leadership wants it or not. Although the legality of such a thing will be disputed - but perhaps not too loudly since the absence of such an agreement would make the US occupation also technically illegal.

So how will the next president deal with this? Will he be strong enough to stand down the US in Iraq? :p Or will the unforseen consequences keep the US intricately involved for decades?

And should the US be involved this way in the middle east?


We'll be there for at least an extra 6 months with whoever wins. With McCain I bet we'll be for another 20 years as well because it's so important for us to "win" the war.

Obama would probably have them all withdrawn out of there within a year, maybe 2.


..mm. I guess they could spin it as if the democracy in Iraq is infecting Iran through their cordial relationship and common hatred for the US.


Future is Fused 3036A.D.
No, there shouldn't be any military occupation over there. Pakistan & Afgan are the only places we have the right to be fighting based on retaliation for 9/11 attacks, IMO.

Also you mentioned Mcains 'commitment' to the middle east. If he is elected president there will be a conflict with IRAN, book it. Now I don't know why some people feel that America needs to police the middle east in order to feel safe, but if that happens the states will be far less safe from attack as such action will inflame the extremist and aggravate the global community. I don't know if Obama can get the troops out in 6 months, but I'm pretty sure he is looking to AVOID a conflict with Iran when we hardly have the troops to rotate within the 3 countries our military presently occupies.


I think we're going to at least have presence there for the next several decades, nothing like we have today but a presence.

Problem is we're stuck with them now, the middle east is going to be an issue for a long time and alot more money is probably going to go their way even after we've pull out the majority of our troops.


I wonder what the Iraqis will choose to justify a contract with in the end. There's some precedent for allowing international forces strict operational context, after all. Like Australia with East Timor, for example.

But I mean - they probably know that if they don't give the maniacs at State exactly what they want, they're going to be left alone and actively sabotaged out of spite. But.. I really wonder if that's much of a threat to Iraqi leadership or anyone else in Iraq right now.

..I'm just saying that if the US wants to stay, it will probably have to be on Iraqi terms (subject to change very quickly). With civillian contractors under Iraqi law to some extent, Iraqi prisoners in Iraqi jails, military operations to be approved by Iraqi leadership and military, etc. Which is something that might turn out to taste worse than having nothing, no?
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Registered Member
McCain has said that he will stay there and finish the job, so who knows how many years that would be, and Obama I could see him taking them all out within the year. The other challenge would be to fix the economy that everyone says is "struggling".


Yeah. The economy.. I wonder if that's really a challenge the president can take on and fix, or the state really can influence to such an extent just a new direction will be a turnaround. Afterall, the flailing energy policy at the moment and the changes being proposed does signal some changes in overall consumer culture coming around all by itself by necessity, and so on.

Have any of the candidates come up with anything specific on Iraq lately? I've just been listening in disbelief to what Bush has been saying about being in Iraq as invited guests by the government, while Maliki condemns the State department's proposals as "American imperialism" as the negotiations break down..


Registered Member
Yeah, maybe the economic situation is out of the government's hands, and it's up to the people now, who knows.

I haven't heard anything about any specific plans about the war in Iraq, but I haven't really looked at it recently. This race is dragging on and on and I think it's just time for the election already.

What do you think the winning party should do?