Time magazine reports on a campaign promise:

As al-Qaeda stages a frightening resurgence in western Iraq, raising anew questions about the fate of that country and the risks it might pose to the United States, it’s worth flashing back a few years.

On Sept. 12, 2007, Barack Obama gave one of the most important speeches of his first presidential campaign. Then still an underdog challenger to Hillary Clinton, Obama — speaking, perhaps impishly, in the town of Clinton, Iowa — laid out his plan for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq. The plan was good politics, but Obama also carefully cast his position as responsible — not a hasty, politically-motivated retreat that could jeopardize American security. To that end, he assured that the U.S. would retain the capability to continue striking against terrorists within Iraq even after our combat forces were gone.

“We will need to retain some forces in Iraq and the region,” Obama said. “We’ll continue to strike at al-Qaeda in Iraq.”

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