How exactly was it decided that placing a mere 160,000 soldiers in Iraq was going to improve the lives of 24 million Iraqis? The two numbers simply do not add up. For all the good that we actually do accomplish in the host nation it simply is not, and never will be, enough. The civilian head of our military (at the time it was Donald Rumsfeld) was clearly off in La-La land and never should have had the job. He wrecked the military and ran, just like Bush wrecked the economy and ran. We are now stuck with yet another establishment president who, as a consequence of the previous administrations sheer incompetence, is stuck between a rock and a hard place. If he is going to go about business as usual he's doomed by the lower and middle classes as they will, and have been for quite some time, bear the brunt of a failed state. If he actually does try and change things for the better without massive popular support in the form of street protests, petitions to congress etc. Obama is doomed by the wealthy elite who currently have a stranglehold over the nations wealth. Pulling out of Iraq WILL lead to future violence, but then again, staying in Iraq merely lowers the intensity, but drives up the duration, of said violence.

A rock and a hard place.