Iraq Is Still a Threat to National Security, According to Obama

In a Friday memo that trumps all other Friday memos, President Obama has told Congress that there are still threats in Iraq and has renewed the executive order of "national emergency with respect to Iraq for one more year."

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In a Friday memo that trumps all other Friday memos, President Obama has told Congress that there are still threats in Iraq and has renewed the executive order of "national emergency with respect to Iraq for one more year."

That's sort of confusing right?  Whether the "national emergency" is here or there?  And it's actually both. The White House release notes that the first executive order, made during George W. Bush's presidency in 2003, asked for protection for the "Development Fund for Iraq and certain other property in which Iraq has an interest" and to deal with threats tied to American foreign policy and national security--hence a national emergency based on the situation in Iraq.

Today Obama ordered the renewal of this executive order, which is just a tad bit disconcerting considering we are (were?) supposed to be finished in Iraq. In his official message to Congress today, Obama writes:

Obstacles to the orderly reconstruction of Iraq, the restoration and maintenance of peace and security in the country, and the development of political, administrative, and economic institutions in Iraq continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States. Accordingly, I have determined that it is necessary to continue the national emergency with respect to this threat and maintain in force the measures taken to deal with that national emergency. 

Here's the full briefing:

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release        May 18, 2012
TO THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES:
Section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C.
1622(d)) provides for the automatic termination of a national
emergency unless, within 90 days prior to the anniversary date
of its declaration, the President publishes in the Federal
Register and transmits to the Congress a notice stating that the
emergency is to continue in effect beyond the anniversary date.
In accordance with this provision, I have sent the enclosed
notice to the Federal Register for publication continuing the
national emergency with respect to the stabilization of Iraq.
This notice states that the national emergency with respect to
the stabilization of Iraq declared in Executive Order 13303 of
May 22, 2003, as modified in scope and relied upon for
additional steps taken in Executive Order 13315 of August 28,
2003, Executive Order 13350 of July 29, 2004, Executive
Order 13364 of November 29, 2004, and Executive Order 13438 of
July 17, 2007, is to continue in effect beyond May 22, 2012.
Obstacles to the orderly reconstruction of Iraq, the
restoration and maintenance of peace and security in the
country, and the development of political, administrative, and
economic institutions in Iraq continue to pose an unusual and
extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy
of the United States.  Accordingly, I have determined that it is
necessary to continue the national emergency with respect to
this threat and maintain in force the measures taken to deal
with that national emergency.
Recognizing positive developments in Iraq, my
Administration will continue to evaluate Iraq's progress in
resolving outstanding debts and claims arising from actions of
the previous regime, so that I may determine whether to further
continue the prohibitions contained in Executive Order 13303
of May 22, 2003, as amended by Executive Order 13364 of
November 29, 2004, on any attachment, judgment, decree, lien,
execution, garnishment, or other judicial process with respect
to the Development Fund for Iraq, the accounts, assets, and
property held by the Central Bank of Iraq, and Iraqi petroleum-
related products, which are in addition to the sovereign
immunity accorded Iraq under otherwise applicable law.
BARACK OBAMA
THE WHITE HOUSE,
May 18, 2012.
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