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 ...

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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:

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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