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The candidate on the SOFA (while it lasts...):
"Obama and Biden believe any Status of Forces Agreement, or any strategic framework agreement, should be negotiated in the context of a broader commitment by the U.S. to begin withdrawing its troops and forswearing permanent bases. Obama and Biden also believe that any security accord must be subject to Congressional approval. It is unacceptable that the Iraqi government will present the agreement to the Iraqi parliament for approval—yet the Bush administration will not do the same with the U.S. Congress."(FWIW, me on that on November 7: "This... might not be so important any more, though a pro forma submission might be "doable".")
Obama and Biden believe it is vital that a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) be reached so our troops have the legal protections and immunities they need. Any SOFA should be subject to Congressional review to ensure it has bipartisan support here at home.
Sounds like someone reviewed the SOFA.
The candidate for the Democratic nomination pledged*: "Obama will immediately begin to remove our troops from Iraq. He will remove one to two combat brigades each month, and have all of our combat brigades out of Iraq within 16 months."
The candidate for president purged that line from his web site, and replaced it with: "The removal of our troops will be responsible and phased, directed by military commanders on the ground and done in consultation with the Iraqi government. Military experts believe we can safely redeploy combat brigades from Iraq at a pace of 1 to 2 brigades a month -- which would remove all of them in 16 months."
Or whatever the SOFA calls for. And then they go to Afghanistan.
Some supporters might still be surprised to learn about that July switch, though. Here's an August 12 "fact check" that erroneously insists "His [Obama's] campaign Web site says: "Obama will immediately begin to remove our troops from Iraq. He will remove one to two combat brigades each month, and have all of our combat brigades out of Iraq within 16 months."" And here's an about.com explanation of why Obama won the Presidency that claims "Obama's stance on the Iraq War is unambiguous: he plans to immediately begin to remove our troops from Iraq. He will remove one to two combat brigades each month, and have all of our combat brigades out of Iraq within 16 months."
At least one thing hasn't changed, however, candidate Obama's pledge to keep "a residual force in Iraq" of unspecified size for an indeterminate amount of time beyond his 16-month timeframe remains intact (although their mission description - and presumably numbers - continues to grow) on President-elect Obama's web site. Most reports on the SOFA (reports I view with some skepticism) indicate all troops are to be withdrawn. So those who voted for him based purely on nit-picky interpretation of his Iraq plan still have some hope that at least part of it won't change.
And perhaps, by the end of President Obama's first term, most of the American servicemen and women who have sacrificed terribly might be home from Iraq - a functioning democracy, even if still suffering from the lingering effects of decades of tyranny and centuries of sectarian tension. If the United States maintains a military presence there, it will at least be much smaller and won't play a direct combat role.
*That's from the Feb '08 Internet Archive - the newest existing. Here's a July '08 Google cache.
The Iraqi cabinet has approved a security pact with the US governing the future presence of 150,000 US troops in the country, officials have said...Posted by Billigflug at November 19, 2008 12:29 PM
Now Greyhawk... be *fair* :p
You know The One has always been steadfastly and unambiguously foregainst this illegal and immoral war.
Word.Posted by Cassandra at November 19, 2008 12:42 PM
The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the - Web Reconnaissance for 11/19/2008 A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day...so check back often.Posted by David M at November 19, 2008 04:47 PM
Foregainst it? Oceania has always been at war with Eurasia. Why would anyone be foregainst that?Posted by Greyhawk at November 19, 2008 05:23 PM
Who cares what he's foregainst, as long as he increases the chocolate ration from thirty to twenty grams per week?Posted by malclave at November 19, 2008 05:49 PM Hide Comments | Show/Add Comments in Popup Window(5) | (Note: You must refresh main page to view newly posted comments here)