Will the US Really Pull Out of Iraq?
by Eric Margolis
President Barack Obama just restated his vow to pull all US combat troops out of Iraq by August, 2010, and the remaining US garrison by the end of 2011. While campaigning for the presidency, Obama had promised to withdraw all US troops in 2010, but the Pentagon prevailed on him to extend the date.
Has America’s long goodbye to Iraq really begun?
Perhaps. But don’t bet on it.
The 50,000 US troops left until 2011 will supposedly “advise and assist” and perform “anti-terrorism” missions and training. To this old war correspondent and military historian, that sounds an awful lot like the British Empires employment of native troops under white officers.
These remaining US troops will likely be six armor-heavy combat brigades, backed by warplanes from US air bases in the Gulf. A US brigade withdrawn from Iraq will go to neighboring Kuwait. Most of the rest will transfer to Afghanistan.
No word about the fate of 85,000 US-paid mercenaries (aka “contractors”) in Iraq.