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Thursday, September 21, 2023

Staff Editorial

Obama does right by bringing troops home

President Barack Obama recently gave the friends and families of military personnel in Iraq a reason to look forward to the holidays. On Friday, Obama announced that all troops in Iraq will be coming home, with the last returning on the first of next year.

Obama said that US military personnel should leave Iraq “with their heads held high, proud of their success, and knowing that the American people stand united in our support for our troops.”

Leaving Iraq is the correct course of action for the US at this time. The US occupation has run its course, and there is little else that can be accomplished. It is now time for the Iraqi government to take full control in the defense of its nation.

Obama’s withdrawal plan technically follow a withdrawal goal set by George W. Bush’s administration. However, Obama’s decision has not come without criticism from the GOP and some of its 2012 Presidential candidates.

“President Obama’s astonishing failure to secure an orderly transition in Iraq has unnecessarily put at risk the victories that were won through the blood and sacrifice of thousands of American men and women,” said GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

“The unavoidable question is whether this decision is the result of a naked political calculation or simply sheer ineptitude in negotiations with the Iraqi government. The American people deserve to hear the recommendations that were made by our military commanders in Iraq.”

It is surprising, in the era of GOP fiscal austerity, that so many Republicans are against Obama’s troop withdrawal plan. The Iraq war has cost the US an estimated $4 trillion. Imagine what that amount of money could have done had it had been used domestically?

Obama’s withdrawal plan will allow US taxpayer money to be spent here, building infrastructure, jobs and creating a more economically friendly environment for returning troops and their families.

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