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Originally posted by dr_strangecraft
Obama has made very clear statements that he stands for the immediate withdrawal of US troops from Iraq. This short-sighted campaign rhetoric will emasculate his foreign policy if he ever takes office.
If he doesn't pull out the troops, many of his core constituents will desert him. Granted, he'll still have almost 4 years in office, but he'll lose any and all claims to lead the democrats or congress from that point onward.
Republicans in congress will be in the minority, but likely a very large and cohesive minority. They will begin pressuring Obama to withdraw troops immediately, and yet prophecy doom if actually does so. This is called having your cake and eating it, too.
So Obama will be forced by domestic considerations to withdraw from Iraq. But consider the balance of power in the Middle East.
The main threat to Turkey's regime is from separatists Kurds who want to leave the republic and merge with the Kurds of Northern Iraq and Northern Iran and Azherbaijan. Turkey committed the first genocide of the 20th century by trying to wipe out the Kurds. Once the US pulls out of Iraq, the Kurds there and Turkey will renew their drive for a "Greater Kurdistan." Turkey has already launched punitive raids over the border into Iraq, even with an ostensible US presence in the North. And that's with US troops present!
Iran has its own long-standing history of genocide against Kurds; they face the same problem as the Turks. While the Iran govt. has always distrusted the ostensibly secular Turkey, they share the same fears of a nascent Kurdish homeland
They have Kurds too; they wish they had oil. While they are Sunni, they are allies of the Shiite Iranian regime.
The Punch Line:
Once Obama withdraws troops, he won't be able to send them right back in. So Iraq will be the one place on earth a smaller state could invade without fear of retaliation (or even response) from the USA.
So Turkey, Syria, and Iran can solve their Kurd problem by simply annexing those parts of Iraq that contain Kurds. This ends the hope of an independent Kurdistan once and for all, and Syria ends up with major oil fields.
While they're at it, Iran may as well "protect" the Shia majority around Baghdad and the central portion of Iraq. Basra would be neat to own, also. And as long as Turkey and Syria get some oil, and control of the Kurdish homeland, they wont be complaining.
Basically, once the Americans withdraw, Iraq will cease to exist, as it is annexed piecemeal by its neighbors. The US will be unable to intervene, and Europe will be Unwilling. Russia can improve relations with both Turkey and Iran, by lending its support; it'll also be a PR coup against the US.
Not that I blame Obama for all of this. Iran was sending terrorists into Iraq even before the US invaded in 2003. Saddam's biggest fear in 2002 was a Shiite overthrow, not a US invasion. IF anything, US policy in Iraq has merely forestalled the inevitable collapse of an artificial state until about 2009 or 2010.
Originally posted by thematrix
Saddam, this one single person the US turned to hate so much, might have been the one person keeping the Middle East stable and separated.