US troop withdrawl stirs uncertainty

President Obama on Friday disclosed the dates set to withdraw troops from Iraq and outlined a promising mold for the country.

His vigorous tone at Camp Lejeune, N.C., characterizes an ultimatum imposed on the war in Iraq.

‘It should not just be beneficial for us, but for the Iraqi people too,’ said Christopher Webb, president of Veterans Collegiate Society on campus.

Aug. 31, 2010 marks the U.S. retraction of close to 100,000 troops while up to 50,000 will remain supportive of the Iraqi Armed Forces until 2011.

Webb foresees an influx when the new GI bill goes into effect this fall. Many veterans are already waiting to attend university in accordance with the new bill.

Many amongst these American soldiers serving in Iraq do not agree with such a time frame. The general consensus is that Iraq is not ready to rise by itself.
However, the greater speculation is rebellion.

Capt. Craig A. Giancaterino, commander of the 287th Military Police Company from Fort Riley, Kan., supports that thought.

‘It’s our own worst enemy,’ he said. ‘You’re setting a target for the enemy to wait us out.’

This is a realistic fear. The deep-rooted rivalry of Iraq’s political parties and each of their military strength could overturn the long and grueling American effort in the country.’
However, Obama has faith.

‘The long-term success of the Iraqi nation will depend upon decisions made by Iraq’s leaders and the fortitude of the Iraqi people,’ he said at Camp Lejeune on Friday.

A visible streak of democratic influence in the Iraqi populace denied Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki’s Dawa Party sole power in the provisional elections of 2009.
Obama recognized this feat of the Iraqi people.

After American troops have cleared the path, Obama draws the next theoretically sound step for Iraq fostering diplomacy for the country’s eventual prosperity. The United Nations and Chris Hill, ambassador to Iraq, will be involved in this phase.

Col. Burt K. Thompson, the commander of the First Stryker Combat Brigade, said, ‘We’ve thwarted the main objective of the insurgency, but the enemy has a vote, and the moment you let your guard down, something bad will happen.’

Obama has acted cautiously and taken preventive measures, saying in his speech ‘we have acted with careful consideration of events on the ground; with respect for the security agreements between the United States and Iraq; and with a critical recognition that the long-term solution in Iraq must be political – not military.’

The final stage of Obama’s plan integrated Iraq’s sovereignty with the Middle East peace process. He said he believes the entire region can come to be successfully engaged in ‘a new era of American leadership.’

Al-Maliki said he is comfortable with the plan.

‘We are even ready right now,’ Al-Maliki’s advisor Yassen Majeed said.

In 2008, Al-Maliki strategically assembled two military forces, the Baghdad Brigade and the Counterterrorism Task Force. This has given his political party its first military power. In a region known for military coups, it is hard to believe this is a defensive ploy.

Obama said he is aware of the uncertainty American departure may pose at first.

‘I have come to speak to you about how the war in Iraq will end. ‘hellip; But let there be no doubt: Iraq is not yet secure, and there will be difficult days ahead,’ he said.

The Iraqi people have sown hope with this liberating opportunity to be self-governing. It is an appropriate climate for a nation to be represented by its people.

Anousheh Kehar is an architecture sophomore and may be reached at [email protected]

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