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20 October 2009

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Andy

I suspect that's also the reason why the President quietly dropped his campaign pledge to withdraw a brigade a month once he took office.

This might also be a factor:

The Pentagon is canceling plans to send a 3,500-member Army brigade to Iraq, a move that speeds the drawdown there and could free up forces as President Barack Obama considers sending new troops to Afghanistan.

The 1st Infantry Brigade Combat Team from the 10th Mountain Division based in Fort Drum, New York, had been scheduled to relieve another combat brigade in Iraq in January. But the brigade will no longer deploy and will now return to the Army's pool of available combat forces, the Defense Department said Saturday.

Patrick Lang

JohnH

Sure. I'll bet you a hundred bucks $ that it is below 75,000. pl

fasteddiez

John H:

If there are 75k troopies in Iraq on January 20, 2013, I bet they won't be suffering from boredom.

Turcopolier

JohnH

Ah. You are out. Go find another name and IP address. pl

Fred

"Troop levels have been reduced by 23,000 since January, to 120,000, and are scheduled to fall rapidly after the January elections, reaching 50,000 by August, U.S. officials say."

Looks like President Obama is keeping one commitment. I don't see these troops being sent to Afghanistan. As to the threat from Iran, Saddam couldn't beat the Iranians, but they didn't beat Iraq either. L. Paul Bremer's failure rears its ugly head again.

Where is the likely US redeployment of these troops and what will be their positive impact on their respective local economies when they stay inside the US? It will also be very interesting to see the DOD procurement budget in the next 2-3 years to see not only the administrations goals but to discover just how much equipment was used up in Iraq.

Turcopolier

Fred

"Saddam couldn't beat the Iranians,..."

The Iran/Iraq War ended when the Iranians accepted a UN sponsored cease fire with Iraqi troops on Iranian territory. There were no Iranian troops on Iraqi territory.

In the last six months of the war Iraq destroyed Iran's ground forces in a series of massive attritional offensives. The Iranians accepted the cease fire because they had no army left. they had a lot of nuts like Ahmadinajad with small arms but they had lost all their heavy equipment.

The Iranians and the Israelis have successfully spread the legend that this was not the case. I was in Baghdad the day the Iranians threw in the towel. The party went on for days.

Masses of captured Iranian equipment were displayed just outside Baghdad a few weeks after the war's end. pl


VietnamVet

Colonel,

A safe withdrawal is the most difficult maneuver in war. Besides, doubling down in Afghanistan and happy talk about the US economy, the most difficult challenge for the future of the Obama Administration will be getting the last 20,000 troops out of Iraq. No matter what agreements made and money spent, blood revenge for the last six years will be very powerful against the weakened Tail End Charlies.

Ael

It is true that Iraq spanked the Iranian army at the end. But in Fred's defense, isn't clear that Saddam could have translated that into anything better than what he got - the status quo ante.

Fred

Col.
Thanks for the correction, I certainly need to do more research.

N. M. Salamon

Any news of concurrent draw down of mercaneries and related "support" personel?

par4

Col. it was not just the Israelis and Iranians spreading that legend. Our own corporate(state)media was just as bad IIRC.

Patrick Lang


Ael

Yes, but that was good enough. pl

Mark Pyruz

Colonel:
Technically speaking, there were very small sections of Iraqi territory still held by Iran. And while Iranian positions may indeed have been severely compromised, its army was not entirely routed. But your contention that Iran suffered unacceptable reversals is sound.

It's interesting that Saddam did not exploit the success with a 2nd invasion of Iran. That he did not and instead targeted Kuwait a few years later, goes a long way in suggesting his views on the difficulties encountered by engaging Iran militarily.

About those Iraqis partying in 1988. Those poor misdirected people were to suffer the calamities of what they were to call the First American War, deadly UN sanctions and the Second American War.

Green Zone Cafe

I told you so, even offered to bet there would be no referendum.

Cost is not a factor in this decision - it would not cost millions if you held the referendum along with the parliamentary elections in January.

What is a factor is wanting to keep the Americans around as long as possible, or at least until the end of 2011. But the American presence will not end then.

http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2009/09/january-will-bring-the-curtain-down-in-iraq.html

William R. Cumming

Out of curiosity did US side with Iraq or Iran for the preponderance of its (US) support?

Turcopolier

WRC

We professed neutrality but were effectively pressured by the Arab states, notably, saudi Arabia and Kuwait to ensure that iraq not be defeated.

The Iran Contra Affair was a side bar run out of a rogue NSC staff in vilation of that basic policy.

After that mess the US clearly favored Iraq. pl

Turcopolier

GZC

The only reason there will be no referendum is that the Iraqis know we will be one by the end of Obama's term. There will be some trainers left and a sizable legation guard. pl

Turcopolier

Pyruz,

Where were these little places, in the far north?

The main Iranan forces in the region south pf Baghdad were completely defeated.

Which Iranian unt were you in? pl

Dan

"Out of curiosity did US side with Iraq or Iran for the preponderance of its (US) support?"

There's a perhaps apocryphal story of Kissinger being asked who we wanted to win that war. He says: "We hope they both loose."

If you google it you'll find a number of different iterations ("our interest is that they both should loose" "It's a pity they both can't loose" etc..) which makes me inclined to doubt he really said this. But it's fun to think he did.

ISL

I cant see costs really playing any roll in decisions, the US govt is printing money by the trillions, so a few hundred million is not even round-off error.

VietnamVet:

In a similar vein, I would suggest that since we have an allegedly friendly govt in Iraq, suitably large bribes would ensure safe withdrawal. Perhaps without a referendum, these bribes would be larger.

Either way, asking as the LA Times does for the US Govt to be financially responsible is like asking. . . well I cant think of a suitable analogy.

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