Jeb Bush: “It was clear on both sides in 2008, at the end of my brother’s term, that there was a need to renegotiate this agreement in 2011. I mean, to rewrite history now I think is completely improper. And it didn’t happen. It could have happened, for sure. The Iraqis wanted it to happen.”
“Gen. Ray Odierno, the U.S. Army’s top officer, pushed back on the Iraq War blame game that has dominated the GOP 2016 presidential campaign trail, saying that the U.S. military’s withdrawal from Iraq in 2011 was the Bush administration’s plan all along. Odierno, formerly the senior U.S. general in Iraq, said he was unconvinced at the time that the Iraqi parliament would have approved a longer stay for American troops had Obama administration officials successfully negotiated for it.
‘I remind everybody, us leaving at the end of 2011 was negotiated in 2008 by the Bush administration. That was always the plan. We had promised them that we would respect their sovereignty,’ said Odierno, who commanded troops in Iraq for more than five years between 2003 and 2010, including two years as the top American general in the country.
Keeping U.S. troops in Iraq beyond 2011 would have required the Iraqi parliament’s approval, which was hardly guaranteed.”