It's true that in 2009 Biden chaired a committee that oversaw the troop withdrawal, while also keeping an eye on economic and political issues in Iraq. The Biden committee included representatives from the Defense Department, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Treasury Department and other agencies.
But what Biden fails to mention is that later--in Obama's second term, with Biden still vice president--the U.S. sent troops back into Iraq to combat the Islamic State fighters who had occupied much of the country. Near the end of the Obama administration, in late September 2016, the number of U.S. troops deployed exceeded 5,000.
The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, was implemented in 2016. Its aim was to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. It attempts to do this by requiring Iran to reduce the number of operating centrifuges and its stockpile of uranium, while allowing International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors to monitor Iran's declared nuclear facilities. In exchange, Iran won relief from international sanctions and the ability to continue to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes.
Under Trump, the U.S. has withdrawn from the nuclear agreement and re-imposed sanctions on Iran. The president and other Republicans have criticized the deal for allowing Iran to continue to enrich uranium and giving it access to billions of dollars in frozen assets.
As we’ve pointed out when Obama said it on the campaign trail, when he repeated it at the last debate, and even when Biden mentioned the figure in the vice presidential debate, that number is wrong. The Iraqis actually “have” $29.4 billion in the bank. The Government Accountability Office projected in August that Iraq’s 2008 budget surplus could range anywhere from $38.2 billion to $50.3 billion, depending on oil revenue, price and volume. Then, in early August, the Iraqi legislature passed a $21 billion supplemental spending bill. The supplemental will be completely funded by this year’s surplus, and that means that the Iraqi’s will not have $79 billion in the bank. They could have about $59 billion.
The surge was announced in January 2007, at which point there were 132,000 troops in Iraq. As of September 2008, that number was 146,000. President Bush recently announced that another 8,000 would be coming home by February of next year. But even then, there still would be 6,000 more troops in Iraq than there were when the surge began.
Point Biden. Gen. McKiernan clearly did say that surge principles would not work in Afghanistan, stating, ”The word I don’t use for Afghanistan is ‘surge.’ “ McKiernan stressed instead a ”sustained commitment“ to a counterinsurgency effort that could last many years and would ultimately require a political, not military, solution. However, it is worth noting that McKiernan also said that Afghanistan would need an infusion of American troops ”as quickly as possible.“
Source: FactCheck.org on 2008 first Presidential debate Sep 26, 2008
But in Oct. 2007, Obama supported removing all combat troops from Iraq within 16 months, saying, “I will remove one or two brigades a month, and get all of our combat troops out of Iraq within 16 months. The only troops I will keep in Iraq will perform the limited missions of protecting our diplomats and carrying out targeted strikes on al Qaeda. And I will launch the diplomatic and humanitarian initiatives that are so badly needed. Let there be no doubt: I will end this war.” The quote appears on the campaign’s Web site.
FACT CHECK: Obama said at the time that the increase in roughly 30,000 US troops in Iraq could improve security in “certain neighborhoods” but that it would not solve the long-term political strife between Iraq’s ethnic and religious groups. “I don’t think there’s been any doubt that if we put US troops in that, in the short term, we might see some improvement in certain neighborhoods,“ he said in March 2007. In a September 2007 speech Obama said ”the stated purpose of the surge was to enable Iraq’s leaders to reconcile. Our troops fight and die in the 120-degree heat to give Iraq’s leaders space to agree, but they aren’t filling it.“
FACT CHECK: The Pakistani military has lost 1,200 soldiers since 2004 in the war against Al Qaeda and Taliban fighters in the tribal areas and flown more than 100 F-16 missions against tribal fighters, according to Pakistani military officials.
FACT CHECK: Kissinger did call for high-level negot
Admiral Mullen did say in a Fox News interview that having a time line for withdrawal would be dangerous. On July 20, Mullen said, “I think the consequences could be very dangerous in that regard. I’m convinced at this point in time that making reductions based on conditions on the ground are very important.” However, interviewer Chris Wallace had just told Mullen to take Obama out of the equation. So strictly speaking Mullen was not talking specifically about “Obama’s plan.” He did say a rigid timetable could have dangerous consequences.
Obama has in fact said that the IRGC should be named a terrorist group. He was a cosponsor of the Iran Counter-Proliferation Act, which, among other things, named the IRGC a terrorist organization What he voted against was the Kyl-Lieberman amendment, which also called for the terrorist group distinction. But Obama said that he opposed the amendment on the grounds that it was ”saber-rattling.“
FACT CHECK: Obama did vote against a 2007 spending bill that did not include language calling for withdrawing troops from Iraq, but voted for the version that did. That version was vetoed by Pres. Bush, though McCain does not say Bush cut off funding for the troops. Overall, Obama voted yes on at least 10 other war-funding bills prior to the single no vote.
This is accurate. But to put that in context, at the peak of the surge about 162,000 US troops were in Iraq. Prior to the surge, the total was about 130,000, [so the 20,000 troop reduction now does not reduce to the pre-surge level].
And Bush left out a bit of the back story of the sheer numbers of Iraqi Security Forces. Bush said, “Today, this grassroots surge includes more than 80,000 Iraqi citizens who are fighting the terrorists.” But at least 60,000 of the Iraqi citizens to which Bush refers--they’re called “Concerned Local Citizens” by the US military--are under contract with the U.S. military and being paid about $300 a month.
It’s true that McCain was an early critic of Rumsfeld’s strategy in Iraq, as early as Nov. 2003. And it’s also true that McCain refused to offer Rumsfeld a vote of confidence when President Bush reappointed Rumsfeld as secretary of defense following his 2004 reelection.
But McCain’s expression of no confidence came in December 2004--well into the Iraq war. Rumsfeld’s decision to invade with a much smaller force than the one suggested by his more traditional generals--the famous “shock and awe” strategy--was implemented in March 2003.
Q: Do you believe that there should be a, a timetable in withdrawing the troops?
ROMNEY: Well, there’s no question but that the president and Prime Minister al Maliki have to have a series of timetables and milestones that they speak about. But those shouldn’t be for public pronouncement. You don’t want the enemy to understand how long they have to wait in the weeds until you’re gonna be gone.
BUSH: We are seeking all the facts. Already the Kay Report identified dozens of weapons of mass destruction-related program activities and significant amounts of equipment that Iraq concealed from the UN.
FACTCHECK: True, former UN weapons inspector David Kay, now heading the US effort to locate Saddam Hussein’s unconventional weapons, did report that last October. But Kay also told the House and Senate intelligence committees:
KAY: We have not yet found stocks of weapons. We have not yet been able to corroborate the existence of a mobile biological weapons production effort. Multiple sources say that Iraq did not have a large, ongoing, centrally controlled chemical warfare program after 1991. To date we have not uncovered evidence that Iraq undertook significant post-1998 steps to actually build nuclear weapons or produce fissile material.
|2020 Presidential contenders on War & Peace:|
Democrats running for President:
Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Gov.Deval Patrick (D-MA)
Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
CEO Tom Steyer (D-CA)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)
2020 Third Party Candidates:
Rep.Justin Amash (L-MI)
CEO Don Blankenship (C-WV)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Howie Hawkins (G-NY)
Gov.Jesse Ventura (I-MN)
Republicans running for President:
Rep.Joe Walsh (R-IL)
Gov.Bill Weld(R-MA & L-NY)
2020 Withdrawn Democratic Candidates:
Sen.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen.Mike Gravel (D-AK)
Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
Rep.Tim Ryan (D-CA)
Adm.Joe Sestak (D-PA)
Rep.Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
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