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How We Lost Iraq July 13, 2014

Posted by tkcollier in Geopolitics.
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Carlton Palmer pointed out this fascinating  article, from a man who was intimately involved; as one of a few Arab-speaking US officials in Baghdad. Click on the link for the full article.

By the closing months of 2008, successfully negotiating the terms for America’s continued commitment to Iraq became a top White House imperative. But desperation to seal a deal before Bush left office, along with the collapse of the world economy, weakened our hand.

In an ascendant position, Maliki and his aides demanded everything in exchange for virtually nothing. They cajoled the United States into a bad deal that granted Iraq continued support while giving America little more than the privilege of pouring more resources into a bottomless pit.

With the Obama administration vowing to end Bush’s “dumb war,” and the continued distraction of the global economic crisis, Maliki seized an opportunity. He began a systematic campaign to destroy the Iraqi state and replace it with his private office and his political party, the most powerful man in Iraq and the Middle East, Gen. Qassim Soleimani, the head of the Quds Force unit of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, warned that those Iraqi leaders who cooperated, would continue to benefit from Iran’s political cover and cash payments, but those who defied the will of the Islamic Republic would suffer the most dire of consequences.



Bush’s Positive Legacy November 10, 2008

Posted by tkcollier in Geopolitics.
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The lack of a serious U.S.-China confrontation in the years since 9/11 is the most important dog that did not bark across the Bush-Cheney administration.

In the grand sweep of history, this is arguably George W. Bush's greatest legacy: the encouragement of China to become a legitimate stakeholder in global security.

This sort of effort at grooming a great power for a greater role in international affairs is a careful balancing act, and the Bush team sounded most of the right notes, from reassuring nervous allies in Asia, to avoiding the temptation of trade retaliation while simultaneously pressuring Beijing for more economic liberalization, to drawing China into the dynamics of great power negotiation over compelling regional issues like the nuclear programs in both North Korea and Iran.

We can always complain that Bush-Cheney didn't do more to solidify this most important bilateral relationship of the 21st century, but we cannot fault them for any lasting mistakes, and that alone is quite impressive.

Indeed, history will likely judge this success as greater than the Bush administration's failures in Iraq.

via Barnett: What Bush- Cheney got right with China : Columnists : Knoxville News Sentinel

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