Thursday, November 27, 2008

Iraq: One Fewer Worry for President Obama

The Status of Forces Agreement (SoFA) has passed Iraqi parliament, with 75% of parliament approving. This sounds like a pretty darn big number, but it's about as low a number as the US can politically get away with--a substantial majority against the bill would give a lot of legitimacy to continued anti-American resistance, continued factionalization, etc.

Iraq's fate is sealed; Petraeus and Gates (locked in for the next while at least) should be able to handle the situation quite well. And with this agreement (which must be finalized by the 3-person Iraqi Presidential Council--it will), Obama has no Iraq policy left to make. He need only say, "stick to the plan, Mr. Gates," and the troops will come home in a timeline he can appreciate. It should be a weight off the new president's shoulders.

But with Russian challenges, Somali pirates, Afghanistan falling apart, and now a major, in-progress anti-US/UK terror attack in India, Mr. Obama needs all the relief he can get.

And now, Turkey.
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