The decision made was that President Obama, by the end of 2011, would have completely withdrawn the United States Military forces from Iraq. This came up because of two things: (a) mounting pressure towards Obama concerning the current financial quagmire in which the US has found itself, and (b) whether the stay of the US army in Iraq was any longer worthwhile. The major stakeholders in this decision were the public and critics from the Republican Party.
The Iraq war has cost the USA close to $1 trillion, indeed an extremely high cost. Presently, the status of the US economy is weak and is continuing to gradually fall. As a result, unemployment is at an all time high. The USA is in massive debt that it does not know how to pay. Companies are downsizing to stay afloat in the markets. Industries like the real estate industry are crumbling. Even education funding has been affected, and some areas or counties are not receiving the funding they used to get (Segev, 2011). All this has caused a public outcry appealing to the US government to stop unnecessary spending or to stop unnecessary projects that are draining the country’s finances. Apart from issues with the US economy, citizens wanted to know if the army’s presence in Iraq was making a positive impact because the death count in Iraq was continuing to rise. People did not want their children to go and die for nothing.
President Obama’s decision was also affected by the stinging criticism of the Republicans. Obama had laid out a plan for the recovery of the US economy and had promised citizens that he would not let them down. So far, he has not fulfilled this very well, concerning the weak state of the economy. Thus, Obama felt that he should not aggravate things any further.
The writer of the article claimed that President Obama made the wrong decision in deciding to withdraw the US troops. Firstly, the republicans had a field day with this decision because they used it to show that President Obama’s incompetence as a leader; that the US army has failed under his command. In this, they will be able to garner a few more votes from the democrats to their side. However, Obama’s decision has greater consequences on its stakeholders. One main goal of the US army in Iraq was to neutralize all traces of terrorism or insurgency. It would do this through enforcing its rule over the whole country and bringing all local rebel groups and ethnic groups into submission (Segev, 2011). It was then to give control to the Iraqi national security and police forces. It was to help them start fighting terrorists in their country and neutralize all insurgency. Addition, it was to help the Iraqi government to start building democratic institutions and start achieving political milestones. If it would have been able to do this, the US would have gotten a key ally in the Middle East, and it would have been a clear message to all terrorists that terrorism would not be tolerated. In pulling out early, the US army has not yet achieved these things. Thus, there remains a risk that some time in the future terrorism from Iraq may come back to haunt them as it did on September 11 2001.
As concerns Obama’s role as a decision maker, in my opinion, he allowed himself to be influenced by the people and the republicans to make a hasty decision. As much as the people and the republicans had valid points, they were not looking at the bigger picture. Pulling out of Iraq would condemn Iraqi’s to more war, and the terrorists.