Obama knows the US can never leave Iraq
Thinking back to the ominous firing of Barack Obama’s lead security advisor, Samantha Power, during his primary fight with Hillary Clinton the country was at that moment given a taste of what was to come.
Samantha Power gave a television interview in which she stated that US forces leaving Iraq in 16 months after Obama’s inauguration was a best case scenario. The problem was that Obama had been running around the entire country repeating that 16 month mantra as the backbone of his stump speech.
Now that Obama is 12 months into his presidency we see that having all US forces out of Iraq in the first 16 months of his presidency was a best case scenario.
Samantha Power knew then what most Americans did not want to admit to themselves: that the withdrawal from Iraq would be a game of delays, excuses and residual forces. Geopolitically the US cannot leave without leaving its position of world domination behind.
The security agreement that was agreed to by the US and Iraqi governments at the end of George W. Bush’s presidency sets the end of 2011 as the soft withdrawal date for all US troops from Iraq. There is also a withdrawal of 50,000 troops set to take place strategically two months before the Congressional midterm elections in August of this year.
The drawdown will leave 50,000 US troops remaining in the country. The US forces that remain have been officially renamed United States Forces-Iraq from Multinational Forces-Iraq, which had been there name since the initial invasion. It is clear that the US was going to be the last nation to remain and control their prize. Namely one of the largest oil reserves in the world.
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates stated in a recent interview with Charlie Rose that he foresees tens of thousands of American troops remaining after December 31st, 2011 as a residual force. Admiral Mike Mullen has added to the discussion that many troops may just be redeployed as non-combat troops with a mission of training Iraqi forces or some other job outside of combat missions. Pentagon planners say those currently counted as combat troops could be “re-missioned” and that their efforts could be redefined as training and support for the Iraqis
So the question becomes, why can’t the US leave Iraq? The answer is simple. If the US left Iraq, they would be leaving one of the largest oil reserves in the hands of a Shiite controlled country that would likely become friendly with Iran the moment the last US diplomat boarded a plane out of the country. There is also a substantial Shiite population in Saudi Arabia that reside predominately on the crescent of oil that runs from northeast Saudi Arabia up through Iraq to Southwestern Iran. With Iraq and Iran united by their Shiite ties they could encourage a secession or annexation by the Saudi Arabian Shiite population. If this were to happen suddenly the US is kicked out of the global oil game in a big way.