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General Jack Keane on Obama's Iraq Policy: 'Absolute Disaster'

9:09 AM, Oct 24, 2011 • By DANIEL HALPER
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Former general Jack Keane seems to agree with Senator Lindsey Graham's assessment of President Obama's Iraq policy. The Washington Times reports: "President Obama’s decision to pull all U.S. forces out of Iraq by Dec. 31 is an 'absolute disaster' that puts the burgeoning Arab democracy at risk of an Iranian 'strangling,' said an architect of the 2007 troop surge that turned around a losing war."

“I think it’s an absolute disaster,” said Gen. Keane, who advised Gen. David H. Petraeus when he was top Iraq commander. “We won the war in Iraq, and we’re now losing the peace.”

U.S. troops will be vacating Iraq at a time when neither Baghdad’s counterterrorism skills nor its abilities to protect against invasion are at levels needed to fully protect the country, say analysts long involved in the nearly nine-year war.

“Forty-four hundred lives lost,” Gen. Keane said. “Tens of thousands of troops wounded. Over a couple hundred thousand Iraqis killed. We liberated 25 million people. There is only one Arab Muslim country that elects its own government, and that is Iraq.

“We should be staying there to strengthen that democracy, to let them get the kind of political gains they need to get and keep the Iranians away from strangling that country. That should be our objective, and we are walking away from that objective.”

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