In a stunning reversal, Barack Obama said Friday that he would begin increasing U.S. military support in Iraq – after five years of reducing it. The Commander-in-Chief’s reason? The deadly resurgence of Al-Qaeda.
As reported by Stars and Stripes, the abrupt about-face represents an astonishing change in policy for Obama, who trumpeted the 2011 withdrawal of the last U.S. troops from Iraq as a major achievement. (Those critical of his hasty withdrawal likened it to a spoiled child picking up his marbles and going home – after he failed to reach agreement with Baghdad over conditions for troops remaining in the country.)
After a White House meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, Friday, Obama said he shares al-Maliki’s fears about Islamic extremists’ resurgent strength in Iraq’s western province and will join the Iraqi leader’s effort to crack down. Obama said:
“We had a lot of discussion about how we can work together to push back against that terrorist organization [Al-Qaeda] that operates not only in Iraq, but also poses a threat to the region and to the United States.”
Administration officials confirmed that “working together” would include “growing intelligence support” and new weaponry.
Obama’s admission is incredible; he has touted the demise of Al-Qaeda at least 32 times – since the attack in Benghazi.