‘Top Line’: Iraq as Obama’s War

By Gorman Gorman

Jul 1, 2009 4:36pm

ABC News’ Rick Klein reports: With this week's deadline for Iraqi forces to take formal control over the country's cities, President Obama's Iraq policies are about to be put to the test.The withdrawal of US forces from cities isn't complete — and is surely doesn't end the war. On ABCNews.com's "Top Line" today, Jonathan Morgenstein, an Iraq war veteran who serves as a senior national security policy fellow at the progressive group Third Way, told us he expects a short-term uptick in violence — and isn't sure what will happen next. "While I think there's definitely a chance the Iraqi army is going to be able to bring this thing together and end the insurgency once we leave, it's not a 100 percent foregone conclusion," Morgenstein said. "And it's really up to the higher-ups in the Iraqi military to ensure that it keeps going down the positive path as opposed to descend into kind of chaos." "Clearly violence is at its lowest point since the very beginning of the war, and there are definite markers that the Iraqi security forces are coming up to par," he added. "And the question of, how far will the Iraqi security forces be able to take this remains to be seen. And that's why this is a step by step process. The US forces haven't picked up and left the country, they've just pulled out of the urban areas."Click HERE to see our interview with Jonathan Morgenstein. We also spoke with Newsweek's Holly Bailey, who broke a story this week about Vice President Joe Biden's new role as an "unofficial envoy" to Iraq. We got her take on Iraq, Al Franken's belated victory, and the latest news on Gov. Sarah Palin, R-Alaska, and Gov. Mark Sanford, R-S.C.On Sanford, Bailey said: "Reading that article yesterday I wondered who is advising Mark Sanford right now, because I — if I were a political consultant — I would be telling him to be quiet, lay low and he's not. He keeps making it worse."Click HERE to see our interview with Holly Bailey.

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