Posted by Brad @ 11:00 am on January 15th 2013

Why We (May) Fully Leave Iraq; Why We (May) Fully Leave Afghanistan

One of the most important myth busting of the Obama administration is the idea that he “got us out” of Iraq or will do with Afghanistan.

We, in fact, are maintaining a permanent embedded presence in Iraq, which is a little hard to quantify but which, for Iraqis, remains very real. Something like 12 large scale military bases, an embassy the size of Vatican City with roughly 15,000 personnel (all serving under the ambassador, so all with diplomatic immunity), about four other similar sites around the country, and – call them combat troops or no – anywhere from 30,000 – 50,000 Americans remain in country with de facto immunity and the ability to kill Iraqis. Still, that doesn’t take away from the fact that such a massive presence is still a far cry from what we were demanding, which was a South Korea style permanent proxy state within a state. What prevented that from happening, which was then spun as Obama magnanimously pulling us out of Iraq? The Iraqis demanded that our soldiers there be subject to Iraqi laws and courts if they behave badly, and we refused to truck that. So out we went.

Now it looks like Afghanistan is going similarly. We would very much like to keep 10,000 troops there, but for some reason the Afghanis aren’t acceding to our demands that the troops are beyond the reach of Afghani justice.

Even with the inability to get these concessions, we will still have a permanent occupying force in both Iraq and Afghanistan for many, many years, I imagine, which has always been the wish of the Obama administration and American policy-makers generally no matter what his supporters may tell you. The fact that we may in fact be pulling out has less to do with Obama’s grand plan of “ending war” or whatever, than the more practical considerations that those countries are essentially trying to kick us out against our wishes.

1 Comment »

  1. yeah, in a way we’d be better off if a GOP righty were in power cause the Left would be protesting this, and the ruthless droning going on. otoh, the presence in Iraq is probably not enough to keep the government from tilting pro-Iranian-and any government seen as doing the US’s bidding would quickly be de-stabilized, even more than Iraq is still destabilized, that is. (The surge didn’t work; Beetrayus is a myth.)

    Yeah they have the ability to kill Iraqis but any such killing would immediately cause mass resistance again. otoh, you realize Obama is looking the other way as Saudi, perhpas Qatar, does its best to help Sunni resistance against Maliki. The Shia Crescent has become the big boogeyman axis now.

    Comment by truthteller — 1/15/2013 @ 3:19 pm

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