The emerging reports of the Obama Administration’s plan to keep 3,000 surprised many. Few expected the president to honor the Status of Forces Agreement’s December deadline, but a number of hawks were surprised at how low the figure was.
Of course the 3,000 figure was already misleading, not counting the untold thousands of military and State Department contractors that will also be fighting in Iraq. New reports coming out today suggest we may have underestimated the administration’s ability to deceive even more, revealing a plot that would keep large numbers of combat troops fighting in Iraq.
Fighting in Iraq, but not deployed there, as the report has the administration mulling a major deployment into neighboring Kuwait, “pre-positioned” along the border and ready to launch attacks inside Iraq at a moment’s notice.
Army Chief of Staff and former Iraq commander Gen. Ray Odierno had warned against keeping large numbers of troops inside Iraq, warning it would “provoke new claims of US occupation.” The occupation force may, instead, wait on the outskirts to reassert itself.