By Chad Groening
A senior Army strategist and Pentagon advisor believes recent events in Iraq will compel President Barack Obama to remove virtually all U.S. military forces from that country by the end of this year.
As previously reported on OneNewsNow, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki recently announced that security forces in that country are now capable of confronting any remaining threats to its security, so there is no need for U.S. troops to remain there after this year. Following that announcement and more than three years of voluntary exile, anti-U.S. Islamic cleric Moqtada al-Sadr - the ambitious man who Pentagon advisor Bob Maginnis says delivered the Shiite vote to al-Maliki - returned to Iraq.
"I believe that given the opportunity, he will transform Iraq into something very similar to Iran - an Islamic state," Maginnis suggests. "Now the reason that he has come back is so that he can manipulate Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, [who] would not be prime minister if it was not for Sadr."
So the retired Army officer believes these two events have cemented the reality that the time of U.S. involvement in Iraq is clearly winding down.
"We're going to leave at the end of this year in accordance with the Status of Forces Agreement that Mr. Bush signed back before he left office, and certainly the current president has endorsed that," Maginnis notes. "The intent is that we're going to be out of there. I don't really think that Maliki is going to go against the wishes of Sadr."
So while the U.S. may leave a few people in Iraq to help with specialized training, he believes a vast majority will be out of the country by the time 2011 comes to a close.
Sadr return complicates US troop presence in Iraq - FOX News
Biden, Iraqi Leaders Discuss Strengthening Bilateral Ties - Voice of America
Back to Babylon - SpiritandTruth.org (Andy Woods)
US to sell $26 billion worth of weapons to debt-hit Iraq - International Business Times
Biden and Maliki say they are still committed to troop withdrawal by end of year - Washington Post
Iraqi Efforts to Rebuild Babylon Focus of New York Times - BPB (Joel Rosenberg)
Iraq and Kuwait agree to resolve all pending issues - Alsumaria
Iraq prepares to open bidding of oil licenses to up to 45 companies - MonstersandCritics.com
The Second Coming of Babylon - Mark Hitchcock (Book)