By Karl Gotthardt, Politisite, Canadian Politics and Military Affairs Editor
Since the start of the war in Iraq and the resulting regime change, the United States has lost 4468 soldiers. The hope was that after a regime change, a viable democratic government could be established, which would be a staunch ally of the United States. It appears sometimes you need to be careful what you wish for. It appears that the Obama Administration has been dealt a setback. Iraq has voiced its opinion against regime change, in support of Syrian President Assad.
Although the President Obama has called for Assad to step down, Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki rejected that call and in a radio address on September 30th and came out firmly in support of the Assad regime.
“We believe that Syria will be able to overcome its crisis through reforms,” he said. These words mirrored closely those of President Ahmadinejad of Iran. Iraq has also taken the side of those supporting the Palestinian Authority’s application for full UN membership, a move opposed by the United States. Iraq also supports Iran’s right to nuclear technology.
“More than six months after the start of the Syrian uprising, Iraq is offering key moral and financial support to the country’s embattled president, undermining a central U.S. policy objective and raising fresh concerns that Iraq is drifting further into the orbit of an American arch rival — Iran.” (Source: Washington Post)
Iraq’s stance has dealt an embarrassing setback to the Obama administration, which has sought to enlist Muslim allies in its campaign to isolate Syrian autocrat Bashar al-Assad. While other Arab states have downgraded ties with Assad, Iraq has moved in the opposite direction, hosting official visits by Syrians, signing pacts to expand business ties and offering political support.
Despite Billions of dollars spend on regime change and reconstruction of Iraq, it would appear that the staunch ally in the region will not materialize. Can this be seen as a foreign policy failure by the Obama Administration?