Host: American Enterprise Institute. Ground experience in Iraq is substantially changing the political debate over the Iraq war. In the U.S. presidential race, Senator John McCain, who made his eighth trip to Iraq in March 2008, states that his frequent travel there grants legitimacy to his support of a continued American presence. Following his first visit to the country on July 21, Senator Barack Obama reports that the troop reduction timeline which he has proposed is favored and supported by Iraqi prime minister Nuri Kamal al Maliki. In this context, former military officers and Iraq war veterans David Bellavia and Pete Hegseth, who have just returned from Iraq, will add to the debate by sharing their day-to-day experiences in the area. Colin Kahl of the Center for a New American Security and Georgetown University, who has also recently visited Iraq, will respond. Panelists will discuss whether the successes prompted by the surge have made an American drawdown in troops acceptable or whether security and political advances require a sustained American presence to prevent a relapse. What are the differences between McCain and Obama’s plans for Iraq? How would each be implemented? AEI’s vice president for foreign and defense policy, Danielle Pletka, will moderate.
Added by insideronline on August 1, 2008