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Clinton Backed Obama’s Premature Iraq Withdrawal

- October 11, 2015

In 2011, Clinton “Strongly Defended President Obama’s Plan To Withdraw Combat Troops From Iraq.” “Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Sunday strongly defended President Obama’s plan to withdraw combat troops from Iraq by the end of the year and issued a pointed warning to Iran not to underestimate the United States’ commitment to stability in the region.” (Sheryl Gay Stolberg, “Clinton Defends Iraq Withdrawal Plan,” The New York Times, 10/23/11)

  • The New York Times Headline: “Clinton Defends Iraq Withdrawal Plan” (Sheryl Gay Stolberg, “Clinton Defends Iraq Withdrawal Plan,” The New York Times, 10/23/11)

Clinton On Withdrawing From Iraq: “Obama Has Shown Great Leadership In Navigating To This Point, Fulfilling His Promise, Meeting The Obligations That Were Entered Into Before He Ever Came Into Office.” DAVID GREGORY: “But Secretary Clinton, the question is whether you think this criticism is well-founded or not. Do we not endanger recent success in Iraq by not having any residual force? Is there not a legitimate prospect of civil war, which many people fear?” CLINTON: “Well, honestly, I think that they should have raised those issues when President Bush agreed to the agreement to withdraw troops by the end of this year. I feel like this is a debate that is looking backwards instead of forwards. … But President Obama has shown great leadership in navigating to this point, fulfilling his promise, meeting the obligations that were entered into before he ever came into office. We are providing a support-and-training mission. We will be there on the ground, working with the Iraqis. And I just want to add, David, that no one should miscalculate America’s resolve and commitment to helping support the Iraqi democracy. We have paid too high a price to give the Iraqis this chance, and I hope that Iran and no one else miscalculates that.” (NBC’s “Meet The Press,” 10/23/11)

  • Clinton: “We May Not Be Leaving Military Bases In Iraq, But We Have Bases Elsewhere. We Have Support And Training Assets Elsewhere.” GREGORY: “Well, and I want to just underline that. There’s a feeling that Iran could try to push Iraq around, particularly in the Shia part of the southern part of Iraq. Are you suggesting that if Iran were to try to take advantage of this moment the U.S. would still have a military commitment, the message to Iran being what?” CLINTON: Well, I think Iran should look at the region. We may not be leaving military bases in Iraq, but we have bases elsewhere. We have support and training assets elsewhere. We have a NATO ally in Turkey. The United States is very present in the region.” (NBC’s “Meet The Press,” 10/23/11)

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