Leave Iraq on Time, with Dignity

Like jilted lovers, the US military and many of those who got us into the senseless invasion of Iraq have been pressing the Iraqi government to change its mind about removing all US troops by the December 2011 deadline. Over the last two weeks, both the secretary of defense and the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff have told Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki that time is running short for him to decide whether to ask the United States to stay. A senior US military official said that keeping US forces in the country would be “best for Iraq.’’

However, it is not in the best interests of either Iraq or the United States for American troops to remain after the deadline, which was agreed to by President George W. Bush and Maliki in the 2008 Status of Forces Agreement.

The above excerpt was originally published in The Boston Globe.