Marching in Memory of Fallen AFSOC Warriors - Part 2
Support Staff Sergeant Joe Beimfohr in Sport's Illustrated's "Greatness in Sports"

Iraq Pullout - Not A Cause for Celebration

Kudos to Max Boot for this well written editorial panning the President's decision to withdraw pell mell from Iraq.  I quote the opening paragraphs:

If there is one constant of American military history it is that the longer our troops stay in a country the better the prospects of a successful outcome. Think of Germany, Italy, Japan or South Korea. Conversely when U.S. troops rush for the exits hard-won wartime gains can quickly evaporate. Think of the post-Civil War South, post-World War I Germany, post-1933 (and post-1995) Haiti, post-1972 Vietnam, or, more recently, post-1983 Lebanon and post-1993 Somalia.

Keep that history in mind as you listen to President Obama boast: “As promised, the rest of our troops in Iraq will come home by the end of the year. After nearly nine years, America’s war in Iraq will be over.”

Far from being cause for celebration, Obama’s announcement that we will keep only 150 U.S. troops in Iraq after the end of the year–down from nearly 50,000 today–represents a shameful failure of American foreign policy that risks undoing all the gains that so many Americans, Iraqis, and other allies have sacrificed so much to achieve. The risks of a catastrophic failure in Iraq now rise appreciably. The Iranian Quds Force must be licking its chops because we are now leaving Iraq essentially defenseless against its machinations. Conversely the broad majority of Iraqis who fear Iranian influence and who want their country to become a democracy will come to rue this day, however big a victory it might appear in the short term for the cause of Iraqi nationalism.

Read it all here:

I must have been absent in strategy class the day they taught that you can declare a war over unilaterally.  Of course, the President didn't declare "victory" or "mission accomplished".  I guess, as long as a campaign promise is met, then due diligence is achieved.

But the rationale is not even adversary-based.  It is ostensibly because DOD and State Lawyers cannot work out an appropriate Status of Forces agreement such that US Troops would not be subject to the arbitrary whim of Iraqi law (even if taking an action deemed to be "in the line of duty" by US law/standards).

I've heard of "lawfare" as a check against offensive action out of fear of risk or possible bad press.  But an inabilty to convincinly negotiate as a rationale for major troop reduction?

As Max point out in piece: "The Iranian Quds Force must be licking its chops because we are now leaving Iraq essentially defenseless against its machinations."

Will the President at least allow our returning forces the honor to walk up 5th Ave in NYC in a victory parade?