Sorry: Obama didn’t lose Iraq

Sorry: Obama didn’t lose Iraq

As a result of the fall of Ramadi and other Sunni areas in Iraq to the forces of ISIS, many critics are blaming President Obama for “losing Iraq.”… This view, though widely-shared by the more hawkish conservatives, is an exercise in wishful thinking and trying to cast blame on Obama, rather than a serious counterfactual. Let’s review the false claims:

Obama failed to get an agreement to leave troops in Iraq past the 2011 deadline. Wrong.

Obama’s hands were tied by the agreement President Bush signed….

The current woeful state of the Iraqi military is Obama’s fault—wrong.

By the time U.S. forces withdrew from Iraq at the end of 2011, the Iraqi military was in pretty good shape. Not perfect, but over $25 billion in training and eight years of U.S. training had done a lot to build up a credible, functional armed force.

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