In the Arena

The Real Iraq Issue

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I’m not sure that the details of Patrick Cockburn’s report about the status of forces agreement (SOFA) between the U.S. and Iraq are correct, but if they are this should be a major issue in the 2008 presidential campaign.

The question should be framed in this way: Do you believe that the U.S. should have a permanent military presence in Iraq? In other words, the Iraq issue should be about the future rather than the present. Indeed, Obama should acknowledge the progress that the U.S. military has made on the ground and press for a quicker withdrawal schedule–and then challenge McCain on the long-term (100 year) bases, which are a truly terrible idea.