President Obama initially promised that the Guantanamo detention facility would be closed in January of 2010. Though it was obvious by May of 2009 the deadline would not be met, officials didn’t admit that fact until mid-November. This is the administration’s way of doing things, to pretend deadlines are “on track” until the last possible minute.
So to with the August Iraq drawdown pledge. The Obama Administration has promised that by August of this year, there will be only 50,000 “non-combat” troops left in Iraq. Since making that promise 15 months ago, only a handful of troops have left, and 94,000 US troops are still there, still engaging in combat missions.
After Iraq’s December election became a January election and finally a March 7 election, it was clear the August deadline would not be met. Privately officials have conceded that the drawdown is being “reconsidered,” in as much as it is virtually impossible now.
But what the Obama Administration talks about privately and its official public stance are often two different things, evidenced today by the claim from US commander in Iraq Gen. Ray Odierno that the drawdown is “on track” and that he is fully committed to meeting the deadline.
The idea that the Obama Administration is even capable of removing 44,000 troops in the next 15 weeks is patently absurd, as he hasn’t managed to remove that many troops in his first 16 months, and the security situation has gotten dramatically worse in that time.
Whereas in early 2009 the situation was comparatively stable, sectarian tensions are on the rise in the wake of a bitterly disputed election, and massive attacks are happening with alarming regularity.
Though the Pentagon insists that it can hypothetically remove 25,000 troops in 4 weeks, and that therefore the 44,000 troops could be removed in this timetable, there is no indication that such an exodus could be accomplished in the face of growing attacks, and despite the claim from some military officials that missing the deadline ‘hasn’t even been discussed’ yet, there is no indication that they are even attempting to do so.
Privately, officials are suggesting that such an attempt would be dangerous, with large numbers of troops being ferried in convoys to the airport providing inviting targets for the rejuvenated insurgency. Publicly, they are unlikely to admit this until the rapidly approaching deadline forces them to.
6 thoughts on “Obama’s Iraq Drawdown a Virtual Impossibility”
Written under "Mesopotamia" on every true historical map of the place is the motto:"Easy to get in, hard to get out."
That may be expanded as, "Easy to get in, hard to get out in one piece."
One mentioned this over and over long before the second war with Iraq, but who was paying attention?
Mesopotamia cost the Brits, for example, 10,000 KIA, before they were finally able to get out.
Xenophon's Anabasis is still the required read. He will even explain to you the relation of the Kurds to their neighbors to you if you read him closely. For example, that they don't play by the "An enemy of my enemy is a friend" rule.
If you crowd them, you are their enemy, whatever other enemies you may have.
About the best the US could do now–they will not do it–is persuade the Iraqis to ask for a UN Occupation while all Americans and coalition forces withdraw immediately.
Or maybe the Turks would volunteer, but not as a member of NATO.
And the Turks ARE doing rather nicely lately , aren't they?
One supposes that the two O's–Odierno and Obama–could also decline into full proskynesis before the Great King (Iran, now the little "A" guy) and beg him to help the US extricate itself, but they would probably be kicked in the teeth and laughed at heartily.
Have you noticed the mainstream media does not how to apply the word "blowback" to this catastrophe?
The Chinese have already copped some oil.
Do the US and the British and American oil companies think they are going to escort Iraqi oil out under armed guard?
It's a total loss for the US, however you play it.
Prosecuting Bush and Cheney and Rice and Rumsfeld, and such, for war crimes will not save the economy, but it my save US credibility in the world.
It might convince them, at the very least, that though the US is full of dolts, at least over time they learn.
Naw–that all just makes too much sense ever to be adopted as American policy.
If and when US is getting out of Germany, Italy, England, Japan and other countries even dough is been asked to leave or promissed to do so… then is time for US militarism regime to leave Iraq, until then everything is “on track”…, Look… George W Bush was elected to show that US can lead the idea of Paul Wolfowitz "neo fascism" around the world.., Obama however is elected to tell the people around the world that that is not the case…, however, when it comes to the US militarism regime Obama have not much to say or will or can do.., otherwise Hillary Clinto would not be the state secretary nor Gates would lead the Pentagon.
Like Rahm Emanuel told some rabbis last week: Ignore what we say, watch what we do.
The US-Iraq withdrawal agreement, which requires complete withdrawal by the end of 2011, says nothing about having only 50,000 "combat" troops in August of 2010. That's a self-imposed deadline dreamed up by the Obama administration. If the military falls short of their own deadline, let's criticize that, of course, but it doesn't invalidate the deadline we should all paying more attention to: the Dec. 31, 2011 deadline for the withdrawal of all U.S. forces.
From the rubble of the Trillion dollar US embassy complex you mean?
What does the escalated violence have to do with US troops leaving? Aren't the troops there now? Hasn't the violence risen even though the troops are there. What effect on the violence does keeping or withdrawing US troops have? Is it any of the US's business (lawful, moral business, not money making business)? Even if keeping the troops there has some positive effect, which I doubt, won't the same situation occur whenever they are pulled, now, one year, ten years later? Even if US troops could eliminate violence won't the bitterness simmer and explode whenever the opportunity arises? By what right should the US dictate how the Iraqis engage one another in their own country?
Comments are closed.