The American Interest
Policy, Politics & Culture
Starting Over in Iraq

Big changes and important decisions are on the horizon in Iraq.

Published on March 1, 2010

ACTION MEMORANDUM

TO: The President of the United States

CC: Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, National Security Advisor Gen. James L. Jones

FROM: Douglas A. Ollivant & Eric D. Chewning

DATE: March 1, 2010

SUBJECT: Starting Over in Iraq

In Iraq, your Administration has inherited perhaps the least popular U.S. foreign endeavor in a generation. With the June 30, 2009 U.S. military pullback from the urban areas now complete, civil violence contained, the government of Iraq better established, the situation in Afghanistan deteriorating and challenges from Yemen looming, the chorus of voices calling for a complete withdrawal from Iraq grows louder every day....