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America's withdrawal has endangered Iraq's fragile democracy

Regarding your recent article about the continuing violence in Iraq, it's disturbing that it and many similar pieces all followed President Obama's Dec. 2010 announcement that all American troops would be withdrawn from Iraq by the end of 2011 ("Blasts targeting pilgrims kill 15, injure 52 in Iraq," Jan.10).

It's quite obvious that the president's action was nothing more than a political ploy to position himself in a more favorable position for re-election in 2012. Unfortunately, Mr. Obama's announcement also created the chaotic situation the articles describe.

A substantial force should have remained in Iraq until democracy there became more firmly entrenched. It could have assisted in preventing a civil war and reduced the country's vulnerability to radical forces such as al-Qaida and the Taliban as well as Iran.

The removal of U.S. troops from Iraq has made it impossible for the Iraqis to establish themselves as a successful model of democracy for the world in general and for the Middle East in particular. They were needed to protect the cause for which the thousands of our troops made the ultimate sacrifice in the years since the invasion.

Following earlier conflicts in which the U.S. has been involved, we still have standing armies in Germany, Japan and South Korea to lend support to our allies. If only the same could be said regarding Iraq.

Perhaps some future U.S. president will be able to work with the Iraqi government to establish a renewed role for the American military there.

Quinton D. Thompson, Towson

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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