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2 Aug, 2010 15:56

US withdrawal from Iraq is overdue – former CIA agent

In his address to US veterans Barack Obama said the USA will stick with its strategy in Iraq and start pulling out troops by the end of August. Complete withdrawal is scheduled for the end of 2011.

“I think it very definitely is the right decision in that the USA’s continuing presence in Iraq is not really a stabilizing force,” former CIA agent Philip Giraldi told RT.

“Currently the US troops are generally just backing up Iraqi security forces and as such are playing a secondary role,” said Giraldi. “The situation is definitely not stable, but the big question becomes to what extent is the continued American presence a good force? I’m not convinced that’s the case, and I think what Obama is trying to do is to declare victory and get out.”

James Denselow, a writer on Middle East politics and security issues, thinks that Obama needs the withdrawal so that he can “continue the same amount of support for his war in Afghanistan.” However, according to Denselow, withdrawal comes at bad time for Iraq itself.

“It is sort of an irony that Barack Obama decides to make this announcement as Iraq last month enjoyed its worst month of violence for the past two years: over 500 people killed in shootings and bombings across the country,” Denselow told RT. “The government’s ability to make policy and its ability to secure its own people are both significantly compromised.”

Marie Abu Sarah, of George Mason University near Washington, believes that while it's unclear if the Iraqi authorities can do without the Americans, withdrawal is still the best option.

“Withdrawal is most likely a good decision because these troops in Baghdad are not really contributing in a great way to the security situation,” Abu Sarah told RT. “In fact, they are even hindering it by their presence.”