The State Department said on Thursday that 15 emails sent or received by Hillary Rodham Clinton were missing from records that she has turned over, raising new questions about whether she deleted work-related emails from the private account she used exclusively while in office.
."But his only interest in Iraq was in ending the war." —Emma Sky, former aide to the top US commander in Iraq
Emma Sky is no warmonger. She is a British, Oxford-educated political analyst who served as a humanitarian worker in the Middle East for a decade before helping the US rebuild Iraq.
And her new book, "The Unraveling: High Hopes and Missed Opportunities in Iraq," is not kind to the Obama administration's handling of Iraq.
From 2007 to 2010, Sky was the political adviser to US Gen. Ray Odierno when he served as deputy American commander in Iraq and then the US-led mission's top commander. During Sky's time with Odierno, violence in the country plummeted after a US troop surge and crucial Sunni tribal cooperation stabilized the country.
Odierno "wanted US engagement with Iraq to continue for years to come, but led by US civilians, not the military," Sky wrote, according to a book excerpt published in Politico. "He believed that, in order to train Iraqi security forces and provide the psychological support needed to maintain a level of stability, 20,000 or so US troops needed to stay in Iraq beyond 2011."
The Obama administration, however, eventually went along with the plan backed by Qassem Suleimani, the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard's Quds Force. That plan called for no US troops beyond 2011 and relied on the continued support of the authoritarian Iran-backed regime of Nouri al-Maliki, then Iraq's prime minister.
"Iran's goal was to ensure that Iraq was not integrated into the Arab world, instead becoming a close ally of Iran," Sky wrote. "Maliki would be able to achieve this because all the neighboring Sunni countries hated him."
Obama called the removal of the last US troops from Iraq in December 2011 a "historic" moment, adding that the country they were leaving behind was "an extraordinary achievement."
Given the state of war-torn Iraq today, history has been unkind to that assessment.