Strategy ’08

Obama vs. the other guy, 2008

Gordon Brown Signals Iraq Troop Withdrawl

Another European leader signals that it is time to get out of Iraq

Gordon Brown today paved the way for the withdrawal of British troops from Iraq, promising a “fundamental change” of mission in the first half of 2009.

In a Commons statement, the prime minister heaped praise on the work of British soldiers and insisted the security situation in Basra had been “transformed”.

“We will continue to reduce the number of British troops in Iraq,” Brown said.

“Just as last year we moved from combat to ‘overwatch’, we would expect a further fundamental change of mission in the first months of 2009 as we make the transition to a long term bilateral partnership with Iraq, similar to the normal relationships which our military forces have with other important countries in the region.”

More excellent news for Obama, on the heels of his well received presser in Jordan:

All eyes were on Obama to see how he would perform on a world stage with every political reporter of any consequence either on the trip with him or watching closely on television.

And, as he has done before in the course of the campaign, Obama seemed to be up to the moment — sensing the need to convey gravitas and bipartisanship while also strongly defending his own beliefs about America’s role in Iraq and the broader Middle East.

Gone were the jokes and “rah rah” language that won over many Obama partisans but left many undecided voters wondering whether there was any there when it came to the Illinois senator. Instead, we saw a serious explication of his position on removing combat troops in Iraq, a position bolstered in recent days by repeated calls by the Iraqi government to remove U.S. military forces from the country by 2010.

There seem to be some concerns about a backlash on this trip (Obama being perceived as taking a victory lap), but it’s too soon to tell if that will actually happen. The media however seems to really be taking to this meme and perhaps John McCain’s complaints about media love will fully take hold, which will lead to increased scrutiny of Obama. But Obama should certainly be careful as he winds this trip up in any case.


July 22, 2008 - Posted by | foreign policy, Iraq | , , ,


  1. Soon John McCain and his out of touch base will be the only person left in the world who still think that the United States should have combat troops in Iraq.

    Comment by smashartist | July 22, 2008 | Reply

  2. This is surprisingly big news – everyone seems to be buying into the Obama plan. McCain is now going up against: the American people, the Iraqi people, and the British people. Not easy for him.

    I agree about the media backlash, the reporters are going to start feeling guilty about their coverage of Obama and swing back towards pouncing on him.

    Comment by dansac | July 22, 2008 | Reply

  3. err… only “people”

    Comment by smashartist | July 22, 2008 | Reply

  4. Might be time to sign up the Bush family dog for duty.

    Comment by turneresq | July 22, 2008 | Reply

  5. It also looks like the whole world is breathing a sigh of relief at the possibility that they won’t have to succumb to the tyranny they have endured through the Cheney/Bush administration.

    Comment by Suzie Q | July 22, 2008 | Reply

  6. I’m waiting for McCain to issue a press release stating that Gordon Brown doesn’t really mean this, and that only he really knows what Brown really means…

    it probably got lost in translation.

    Great new blog, by the way.

    Comment by maxcat06 | July 22, 2008 | Reply

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