Don’t Pin Iraq Withdrawal Date on Bush

The No. 1 excuse offered by defenders of the Obama administration for its failure to keep U.S. forces in Iraq past Dec. 31 is that the deadline was negotiated by the previous administration. For instance:

“The security agreements negotiated and signed in 2008 by the Bush administration stipulated this date of December 31, 2008, as the end of the military presence. So that has been in law now or been in force now for several years,” Deputy National Security Advisor Denis McDonough told reporters on Oct. 21. “So it’s difficult to rebut the proposition that this was a known date.”

True, but as Condoleezza Rice notes, “when the Bush administration signed the agreement, it was understood by both the U.S. and Iraqi governments that there would be follow-up negotiations aimed at extending the deadline — a step that would be in both the U.S. and Iraqi interest.”

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Don’t Pin Iraq Withdrawal Date on Bush

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