Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain

Look, I think old Obama is a pretty good president. And I’ve said I think Gates is the best secretary of defense ever. But I think getting all hot and bothered over the possibility of taking one more brigade out of Iraq this year overlooks two basic facts: Obama has broken a campaign promise to ...

582919_090729_wizard15.jpg
582919_090729_wizard15.jpg

Look, I think old Obama is a pretty good president. And I've said I think Gates is the best secretary of defense ever. But I think getting all hot and bothered over the possibility of taking one more brigade out of Iraq this year overlooks two basic facts:

Obama has broken a campaign promise to take out a brigade a month. (I think he was right to do this, but that's neither here nor there.)
Right now, we have about as many troops in Iraq as on average over the last six years.

Look, I think old Obama is a pretty good president. And I’ve said I think Gates is the best secretary of defense ever. But I think getting all hot and bothered over the possibility of taking one more brigade out of Iraq this year overlooks two basic facts:

  • Obama has broken a campaign promise to take out a brigade a month. (I think he was right to do this, but that’s neither here nor there.)
  • Right now, we have about as many troops in Iraq as on average over the last six years.

But I know, this is just today’s lead…

Meanwhile, old Juan Cole, among others, says that the Iraqi interior ministry’s raid on the MEK shows that pro-Iranian hardliners are getting the upper hand in the Baghdad government.

Patrick Riviere/Getty Images

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. Twitter: @tomricks1

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