Best Defense

Want to understand Maliki? Read this, and you may also understand Biden better

The Washington Post has just put online a blockbuster article on how Maliki rose to power in Iraq. It is one of the best things I have ever read on the role played by the U.S. in Iraq. The article is partly a mea culpa by Ali Khedery, who was the longest serving American official ...

Mark Wilson/Getty Images
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The Washington Post has just put online a blockbuster article on how Maliki rose to power in Iraq. It is one of the best things I have ever read on the role played by the U.S. in Iraq.

The article is partly a mea culpa by Ali Khedery, who was the longest serving American official in Iraq until he resigned in 2010, disgusted with Maliki, and indeed with his own role in helping Maliki become prime minister. But by September of that year, he had decided he was wrong about Maliki. He pleaded with Vice President Biden to dump Maliki. He says Biden declined, saying that there was no alternative to Maliki. Biden added, "I’ll bet you my vice presidency Maliki will extend the SOFA." 

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com.

Trending Now Sponsored Links by Taboola

By Taboola

More from Foreign Policy

By Taboola