Congressional Hawks Push for Even Bigger 2012 Iraq Force

Reject 3,000 Troop Plan as Too Few

Following up on yesterday’s reports that President Obama intends to ignore the 2008 Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) and keep 3,000 troops in Iraq past the December deadline, hawkish members of Congress are looking to see if they can get that number raised even more.

House Armed Services Committe Chair Buck McKeon (R – CA) said occupation commanders told him they “shouldn’t go below 10 thousand,” while Sen. Lindsey Graham (R – SC) said 10,000 was the “bare minimum.”

So far there hasn’t been much Congressional discussion in the way of actually going along with the Bush-era SOFA and ending the war, and whichever official military number eventually is gone with is only a small part of the story.

The military forces will be part of the overall US occupation force, but this figure doesn’t include the thousands of military contractors which will remain, nor does it include the 5,000-plus State Department contractors that will be part of the “State Department Army” for Iraq.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.