Dr. iRack on the Permanent-Occupation Deal
So the Bush administration has an opportunity. They can put a time horizon into the pact and condition the residual support the Iraqi government dearly wants on continued political progress to lock-in recent security gains. Sounds like a viable "exit strategy" and a pathway to a reasonable, realistic definition of success.
I know the Doctor isn’t predicting anything here, let alone advocating anything along these lines. But the entire point of the Bush administration pushing through a SOFA in its last months in office and not giving it Senate ratification is to stay in Iraq forever, not extricate us. I don’t believe for a second the Bushie line that the Iraqis just wanted to get out from the thumb of the U.N. Security Council mandate for the occupation — most likely, the Iraqis did/do want that, and the administration jumped at the chance to use it as a pretext for an enduring occupation; in any event, the administration could have just worked out an interim bilateral deal in the first place. Success for Bush — and McCain — is staying in Iraq.
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