President Obama resumed his “smoke and mirrors’ campaign, boasting to his supporters that the war in Iraq has ended and al Qaeda has been “decimated.”
Our participation in the Iraqi war ended when Mr. Obama failed to gain a “status of forces” agreement with the Iraqi government, an agreement that was necessary to consolidate the gains made by our “surge” troops in the last year of the war. Mr. Obama was clearly outmaneuvered by Iranian interests within the Iraqi government when his negotiator, Joe Biden, failed in his mission. A residual force, similar to that left in South Korea (but smaller), designed to continue logistic, intelligence and emergency support, and could have weakened Iran’s influence.
As for al Qaeda being “decimated,” in Iraq there have been reported al Qaeda training camps and evidence that the group in Iraq has more than doubled in size since the U.S. departure. After suffering leadership losses due to Obama’s successful drone program, the terrorist group has successfully spread its organization into smaller but interconnected organizations in dozens of hot-spots in the Middle East and around the globe. The debacle at our Benghazi consulate is highly visible evidence of at least two such groups combining to plan and launch highly coordinated attacks. In addition, Mali has become the new breeding ground for training aspiring terrorists as al Qaeda and its affiliates have taken possession of the northern half of the country.
No, Mr. President, if Osama bin Laden was the head of the snake, this snake has multiple heads. If al Qaeda is running, unfortunately, it is because they are charging.