A resurgence of violence and a renewed threat from al-Qaida have recently revived flagging U.S. interest in Iraq, officials said Friday as Baghdad asked for new help to fight extremists less than two years after it forced American troops to withdraw.
I can understand the temptation to say to hell with you people, but that would be petty. We should make a serious effort to work out an agreement in which we can do this: First, because we still want to crush Al Qaeda. Second, because we still have a vested interest in Iraq not collapsing. Third, because it might develop into greater influence for ourselves in Iraq. And fourth, because if we don’t it might develop into greater influence for Russia.
All that said, I fear we won’t, because I doubt President Obama has enough (or any) interest in developing such an agreement. He didn’t care enough to work out a status of forces agreement before, and I don’t see that anything has changed.