Apparently Barack Obama has learned nothing from George W. Bush. It might be one thing to passively stand aside while Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki gets overthrown, or fights off attempts at that.
It's another to actually meet with his potential replacements. What if he's overthrown, but not by one of "our" guys? In that case, we're facing blowback.
And, Maliki's indicated he's immune to public pressure. If we felt we had to meet with potential replacements, any idiot would know that doing this on the QT would have been much smarter than a public embrace.
Also, the threats of withholding materials? That usually doesn't work either. If the other party does eventually knuckle under, it's with petulance. That petulance includes questions of why didn't you do this to the other side? See "Palestinians and Israelis."
And, if we're trying to pick winners and losers, sending "advisers" is also stupid; good way for them to get caught up in some sort of crossfire. And, the actual 300 (for now but counting?) is worse than the expected 100.
Hell, six months from now, Iraq might make Afghanistan look stable.
To riff on the old Colin Powell "Pottery Barn rule" — If you broke something at a store, don't try to fix it inside the same store.