Biden in Baghdad

The vice president, now the administration's point man on Iraq, drops in to talk to officials, troops

By Gabriel Winant
Published July 2, 2009 7:15PM (EDT)

He probably hasn’t crossed your mind in a while, but Vice President Biden is keeping busy.

On Thursday, the vice president landed in Iraq for a surprise visit. He’ll be dropping in on troops and meeting with top Iraqi officials, including Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and President Jalal Talabani. 

Biden’s visit is aimed at consolidating recent gains in the country, especially as they appear threatened. Just two days ago U.S. troops withdrew from Iraq’s major urban areas, an event marked by both celebration and a bombing that killed 27 people. 

The word is that Biden will take a leading administration role in the drawdown of American troops over the next few years, and the effort to keep Iraq stable. It’s a role that he probably relishes as an old foreign policy hand, which is the main reason he was on the Democratic ticket last year.

Gabriel Winant

Gabriel Winant is a graduate student in American history at Yale.

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