Joe Biden wrapped up his two-day trip to Iraq today, promoting a new phase in US-Iraqi relations. But that phase, contrary to popular myth, will include US military troops on the ground throughout the country.
|By: David Dayen Thursday December 1, 2011 6:01 am|
|By: David Dayen Tuesday November 29, 2011 11:40 am|
We knew that Joe Biden was scheduled to visit Turkey and Greece this week, but while he was in the region, he swung over to Iraq, apparently to renew discussions about a “continued American presence in the country.”
|By: David Dayen Thursday November 17, 2011 7:07 am|
This needless drive to place little army men around the globe like it’s a Risk board, regardless of the expense, only serves a purpose for the little megalomaniacs in the Pentagon who think we have to stretch our military might everywhere. For the rest of us, it just flushes our tax dollars down the drain.
|By: Swopa Friday October 21, 2011 8:00 pm|
Like a lot of you, I felt an odd combination of déjà vu and whiplash earlier today at the revival of President Obama’s 2008 election rhetoric about “ending the war” in announcing the formal withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Iraq. And similarly, I’m aware of the widely noted doubts about whether this really is [...]
|By: David Dayen Friday October 21, 2011 10:15 am|
|By: David Dayen Sunday October 16, 2011 7:10 am|
This is the right move for the wrong reason. The troops are coming home only because Iraq’s government would not give legal immunity to the remaining forces in the field.
|By: David Dayen Monday October 10, 2011 6:30 am|
This may be how the Iraq War ends, over the denial of a grant of immunity. I’d say private security contractors are far more likely to fill in than NATO forces, because all NATO countries save for the US have pulled out of Iraq, and member states would likely face a huge backlash if they put their imprimatur on a training mission there. A base confinement strategy, furthermore, would make these troops sitting ducks for a Beirut-style bombing, as the Sadrist forces still reject any presence of foreign troops on Iraqi soil after December. So I could see officials with the US defense companies selling Iraq billions in military equipment and fighter jets training the Iraqis before NATO. And possibly now, before the US military, given this development.
|By: David Dayen Wednesday September 28, 2011 4:00 pm|
In the latest twist to the will-they-or-won’t-they withdraw all American troops from Iraq after December, the Iraqi foreign minister said today that there would be some post-2011 training mission approved by the Iraqi government. That may or may not be consistent with the preferred troop levels the Obama Administration leaked publicly.
|By: David Dayen Tuesday September 6, 2011 4:14 pm|
Fox News spins this as a drop in troops. But it’s an INCREASE relative to current laws and schedules. Fox didn’t bother to point out that there’s a standing status of forces agreement in place with Iraq that stipulates that all US troops will leave that country by the end of the year. The President has referenced this publicly on numerous occasions. It’s something that George W. Bush signed in 2008. Any deviation at all from this would represent a boost from the troops that would otherwise be there.
|By: David Dayen Tuesday August 30, 2011 1:55 pm|
This really all depends on the meaning of the word “troops” to Maliki. He has been trying to change the terms, saying that troops will leave but “trainers,” who would be members of the US military, would be allowed to stay to assist Iraqi security forces. Maliki has even said in the past that he could bypass the Iraqi Parliament under such an arrangement, and permit trainers to stay. As noted above, there is a negotiating process underway between Iraq and the US on some manner of training.