It was most disturbing to read about the recent standoff between local police and the Iraqi Army at a U.S. air base in Kirkuk. Until the Iraqi democracy became more firmly entrenched in order to prevent such problems, civil war or a takeover by Iran or other radical forces remains a threat.

The biggest question now is whether President Obama can summon the political will to reverse his earlier decision to withdraw our troops from Iraq by the end of December. Unfortunately, I do not believe this is a move the president will make, which is truly disappointing as it will weaken our image around the world.

Quinton D. Thompson, Towson