“It’s an easy charge to make but a false charge,” he said of the drawdown criticism. “This is the decision made by a sovereign nation.”
The chief point of contention over the decision to withdraw troops from Iraq is the country’s refusal to give U.S. soldiers immunity from prosecution in Iraqi courts. The president and top military advisers have said that once Iraq decided it would not grant soldiers immunity, the U.S. had no choice but to pull its soldiers out of the country.
At a Senate hearing with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey, however, Sen. John McCainJohn McCainMcCain made secret trip to Syria A guide to the committees: Senate Webb: The future of conservatism MORE (R-Ariz.) said that Bush administration negotiators had intended for the agreement that kept soldiers in Iraq to be extended beyond 2011.
Clark said the latest negotiators with Iraq were “very effective diplomats,” not partisan ones. “We do have a plan to have other forces in the region and to maintain our U.S. military presence there even if we’re not on ground with those forces in Iraq,” Clark said. “I think this is a case where it’s an opportunistic target for criticism from the outside, from those who weren’t involved in trying to implement it.”