So is the Iraq War over?

The world’s been abuzz with the story of the last of the US’s combat troops leaving Iraq. In many ways, this one just goes on the list of “shit Obama managed to do that he probably won’t get any credit for anyway.” After all, a whole slew of liberals spent basically his first two years complaining that we were still in Iraq. Myself included.

That said, it ain’t exactly “over” yet.

To be sure, that we can call the combat phase of the Iraq war over is, to put it mildly, a monumental step. However, we’ve still got about 50,000 troops hanging around, and they aren’t just going to be going to Burger King and playing Madden 2010 against each other. Granted, the actual fighting has been transferred over to Iraqi forces, but 50,000 troops is 50,000 troops, and my more cynical side isn’t willing to breathe a sigh of relief until they’re gone.

To wit:

The heart of the remaining U.S. force, while labeled “advise-and-assist brigades,” has combat power that far outstrips that of the Iraqi military, and which could be deployed if Baghdad sought U.S. help and President Obama agreed.

Our military has only stopped fighting in the sense that they’re sitting back and watching things, ready to step in if “need be”, and I’m not entirely confident that “need be” will be a definition that most of us would be willing to accept.

Granted, this is a huge step forward, and a great gamble for President Obama. While it’s true that the economy has been the front and center issue lately, possibly the biggest attack on Barry-O was that he’d “cut and run” from Iraq and basically hand it over to the enemy. So one of two things is going to happen here: either he’ll be mercilessly attacked by people who want to see this go badly, or the right will inexplicably start taking credit for the current situation, saying Bush’s war succeeded and Obama listened to reason by not pulling out too soon.

Oh and by the way, while this is all going on, the number of contractors in Iraq will double. Remember those guys? Yeah. Awesome.

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14 responses to “So is the Iraq War over?

  1. Just to play devil's advocate:

    The war is over in Germany, Korea and Japan, but we still have standing soldiers there too.

  2. Just to play devil's advocate:

    The war is over in Germany, Korea and Japan, but we still have standing soldiers there too.

  3. Rechan, that is true, but those places are now and have been much more stable than Iraq. But, as Hanlon says, it is a good first step that combat troops are gone. It's too bad that more contractors are on the way, though.

  4. Rechan, that is true, but those places are now and have been much more stable than Iraq. But, as Hanlon says, it is a good first step that combat troops are gone. It's too bad that more contractors are on the way, though.

  5. Totally OT, but I love the expression, "To wit:" I don't see that nearly enough.

  6. Totally OT, but I love the expression, "To wit:" I don't see that nearly enough.

  7. All troops in Iraq are combat troops. I don't care what the propagandists say. Also, there are still over 100,000 mercenaries in Iraq.

  8. All troops in Iraq are combat troops. I don't care what the propagandists say. Also, there are still over 100,000 mercenaries in Iraq.

  9. Actually Rechan, the Korean War was never settled. There is an armistice agreement that ended open hostilities, but there was never any official end to the war. That is why there is still such a major military presence at the parallel. So technically the Korean War has been ongoing since 1950.

    As for a presence in Germany and Japan it is a simply an action to protect our economic interest in one of (if not the) biggest economies in Europe and the biggest economy in Asia (up until last quarter where China jumped it). Sure it was done under the guise of a communist threat, but has more recently been argued that the bretton woods system and free market capitalism forced the US to maintain a presence in the region to spur American economic interest.

  10. Actually Rechan, the Korean War was never settled. There is an armistice agreement that ended open hostilities, but there was never any official end to the war. That is why there is still such a major military presence at the parallel. So technically the Korean War has been ongoing since 1950.

    As for a presence in Germany and Japan it is a simply an action to protect our economic interest in one of (if not the) biggest economies in Europe and the biggest economy in Asia (up until last quarter where China jumped it). Sure it was done under the guise of a communist threat, but has more recently been argued that the bretton woods system and free market capitalism forced the US to maintain a presence in the region to spur American economic interest.

  11. Bare in mind my point is that we likely will never have 0 troops in Iraq. We have now established firm bases in the Middle East. I anticipate that Iraq will turn into another Germany, Japan and Korea – a place where our troops get stationed, even well after the country is stabilized.

    If nothing else it is a place to have our troops stationed in case mobilization in the area is needed immediately.

  12. Bare in mind my point is that we likely will never have 0 troops in Iraq. We have now established firm bases in the Middle East. I anticipate that Iraq will turn into another Germany, Japan and Korea – a place where our troops get stationed, even well after the country is stabilized.

    If nothing else it is a place to have our troops stationed in case mobilization in the area is needed immediately.

  13. I understand, and you're prob exactly right. I just saw that you wanted to play devil's advocate so I thought I would try and bait you a little for fun.

  14. I understand, and you're prob exactly right. I just saw that you wanted to play devil's advocate so I thought I would try and bait you a little for fun.

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