On every level and from every perspective — from pure national interest to the purely moral — the decision by the Obama administration and the Democratic Party to withdraw American troops from Iraq and Afghanistan is indefensible.
Let’s look at Iraq.
Here is how the front-page article in the Jan. 12 edition of USA Today began:
“When the last US combat troops departed Iraq in December 2011, they left behind a defeated al-Qaida and an Iraq where traditional rivals Sunni and Shiite Muslims were sharing power in the world’s only Arab democracy.
“Two years later, al-Qaida has seized major cities where hundreds of US troops died while fighting alongside their Iraqi brethren.
“The population once freed by the US-Iraqi alliance has now watched those same jihadist insurgents return to command the streets and impose their will.”
As a result of the United States withdrawing its troops at the end of 2011:
• In 2013, 7,818 Iraqi civilians were killed, higher than the 2008 toll of 6,787 (UN figures).
• In 2010, there were approximately 10 car bombs per month; in 2013, there was an average of 71.
At great expenditure in money, lives and limbs, the United States had defeated al-Qaida in Iraq.
American troops had turned such terrorist dominated cities as Fallujah and Ramadi into relatively peaceful cities governed by pro-govern- ment, anti-al-Qaida Sunnis.
And al-Qaida had been handed its greatest defeat.