“Our combat mission is ending,” he said, “but our commitment to Iraq’s future is not.”
Days after the U.S. officially ended combat operations and touted Iraq’s ability to defend itself, American troops found themselves battling heavily armed militants assaulting an Iraqi military headquarters in the center of Baghdad on Sunday. The fighting killed 12 people and wounded dozens.
It was the first exchange of fire involving U.S. troops in Baghdad since the Aug. 31 deadline for formally ending the combat mission, and it showed that American troops remaining in the country are still being drawn into the fighting.
The attack also made plain the kind of lapses in security that have left Iraqis wary of the U.S. drawdown and distrustful of the ability of Iraqi forces now taking up ultimate responsibility for protecting the country.
And the money paragraph, buried–predictably–at the bottom by the AP:
Iraq’s political instability now appears to be threatening the country’s security. Six months after an inconclusive election, Iraq still has no new government. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, a Shiite, is struggling to keep his job after his political coalition came in a close second to a Sunni-backed alliance in the March 7 vote.
Like the economy, the situation in Iraq that President Bush handed to President Obama did have its share of problems. However, Obama appears to have–again, like the economy–done his best to take a bad situation and make it worse.
If the situation in Iraq continues to deteriorate, even possibly to civil war, it won’t be Bush that the history books blame… it will be Obama, who decided to yank troops out of a situation where they were probably one of the few things maintaining what little stability Iraq had.