Current Events and the Psychology of Politics

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Dec 13th, 2008

Summary: Ali al-Dabbagh, spokesman for the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, says Iraq will need a U.S. troop presence for 10 years to help build up its military forces, well past the newly agreed three-year deadline for the withdrawal of American soldiers under the U.S.-Iraq status-of-forces agreement negotiated by the Bush administration.

Nov 8th, 2008

Summary: Iraqi officials, who see President-elect Obama’s views on the timing of a U.S. withdrawal as consonant with their own, appear to be leveraging his election to pressure the Bush administration to make last-minute concessions in negotiations to reach a status-of-forces agreement with the United States. … Iraqi and U.S. officials are concerned about a surge in “sticky bombs.” In Afghanistan, President Hamid Karzai urged U.S. President-elect Barack Obama to stop the killing of civilians in coalition operations, which undermines popular support for the Afghan government and the international mission.