Posts Tagged withdrawl

Don’t ‘Turn the Page’ on Our Troops in Iraq

“… in his Oval Office address to the nation, our Commander-in-Chief said it’s time to “turn the page” on our country’s current mission in Iraq. While we welcome the shift from a combat role to an advisory and assistance mission for the Iraqi government and its security forces, let’s not forget that we still have 50,000 American troops serving in harm’s way separated by distance and danger from their families.

The hard truth is that Iraq will continue to remain a target for those who hope to destroy freedom and democracy. The Iraqi people — and the American people — deserve to know what we are prepared to do if the cause for which our troops sacrificed their lives is threatened.

Over the past several months, we’ve often heard about ending the war in Iraq, but not much about winning the war in Iraq. If we honor what our men and women fought for, we cannot turn our backs now on what they have achieved.

When we support our troops, we support them all the way — there is no such thing as supporting our troops, but not their mission.”

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The U.S. Withdrawal and Limited Options in Iraq

The U.S. Withdrawal and Limited Options in Iraq is republished with permission of STRATFOR.”

By George Friedman

It is August 2010, which is the month when the last U.S. combat troops are scheduled to leave Iraq. It is therefore time to take stock of the situation in Iraq, which has changed places with Afghanistan as the forgotten war. This is all the more important since 50,000 troops will remain in Iraq, and while they may not be considered combat troops, a great deal of combat power remains embedded with them. So we are far from the end of the war in Iraq. The question is whether the departure of the last combat units is a significant milestone and, if it is, what it signifies.

The United States invaded Iraq in 2003 with three goals: The first was the destruction of the Iraqi army, the second was the destruction of the Baathist regime and the third was the replacement of that regime with a stable, pro-American government in Baghdad. The first two goals were achieved within weeks. Seven years later, however, Iraq still does not yet have a stable government, let alone a pro-American government. The lack of that government is what puts the current strategy in jeopardy.

The fundamental flaw of the invasion of Iraq was not in its execution but in the political expectations that were put in place. As the Americans knew, the Shiite community was anti-Baathist but heavily influenced by Iranian intelligence. The decision to destroy the Baathists put the Sunnis, who were the backbone of Saddam’s regime, in a desperate position. Facing a hostile American army and an equally hostile Shiite community backed by Iran, the Sunnis faced disaster. Taking support from where they could get it — from the foreign jihadists that were entering Iraq — they launched an insurgency against both the Americans and the Shia. Read the rest of this entry »

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