Washington: A vocal critic of the previous Bush Administration's decision on war with Iraq, US President Barack Obama has said that "history would judge" if that was a correct decision or not.
"I think history will judge the original decision to go into Iraq," Obama said during a joint news conference with the visiting Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on Monday.
"But what's absolutely clear is, as a consequence of the enormous sacrifices that have been made by American troops and civilians as well as the courage of the Iraqi people, that what we have now achieved is an Iraq that is self-governing, that is inclusive, and that has enormous potential," Obama said.
The US President said that the challenges remain in Iraq, even as American troops are leaving the country.
"After many years of war and, before that, a brutal regime, it's going to take time to further develop civil society, further develop the institutions of trade and commerce and the free market, so that the extraordinary capacity of the Iraqi people is fully realised. But I have no doubt that Iraq can succeed," he said.
“With respect to security issues, look, when I came into office, I said we're going to do this in a deliberate fashion. We're going to make sure that we leave Iraq responsibly, and that's exactly what we've done. We did it in phases," he said.
Obama added that the US left Iraq in phases which helped build up Iraqi security forces and reduce violence in the war-torn country.