Home / General / “So Long, Operation Iraqi Freedom.”

“So Long, Operation Iraqi Freedom.”


Tonight Obama will explain to the country what exactly it means that Operation Iraqi Freedom is “over.” War correspondent Richard Engel tried to do the same thing on the Colbert Report last week.

Via Tom Ricks, Col. Andrew Berdy explains why this is bunk.

Does anyone not think that the likelihood of continued combat operations is a reality? When casualties are taken by these “non-combat forces” will those casualties be characterized as “non-combat” as well? Does the public not understand that the secondary mission of our remaining forces is to be prepared to conduct combat operations either to defend themselves or to support Iraqi forces if requested? And when these train and assist “non-combat” units have to engage in, dare I say, combat operations, what will the Administration say then?

Ricks followed this up last week with a useful roundup re. what is going on in Iraq as the US “draws down.”

Here’s one answer. Ms. Liz Sly (great six-letter byline) of the Los Angeles Times reported that neighboring countries were sliding in to fill the vacuum being created by the partial U.S. withdrawal. “It is very dangerous,” Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari told her. “It’s a zero-sum game for these countries. Everyone wants to knock down the other one’s policy.”

Iraqi-Americans are concerned. Also, let’s not forget what happens next for our veterans.

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  • Why is this so hard for people to digest? We have combat forces in Germany, Japan, South Korea, and yet they are not engaged in “combat operations.” All this means is that US forces aren’t going to lead combat operations, and the Iraqi security forces have the responsibility to secure their country, as it should be. This announcement doesn’t reflect a declaration of “victory” as in 2003, it doesn’t reflect disengagement of US policy in Iraqi affairs. It’s a clean break from the past administration’s failed policies and the opportunity to start with a clean(er) slate.

    Yes, Iraq will still be dangerous, yes, Iraq is still unstable. But from the point of view of US strategic interests, it’s more than past time for us to disengage and lower our investment of “blood and treasure” in that country. And I look forward to the end of Operation Enduring Freedom next year…

    • Incontinentia Buttocks

      The security situation in Iraq is rather different from that of Germany, Japan, or South Korea.

      And there’s a long history of American military “advisers” overseas doing things that go beyond the normal definition of “advising.”

      How is this a clean break from the Status of Forces Agreement that Bush signed in the summer of 2008?

    • hv

      It’s a clean break from the past administration’s failed policies and the opportunity to start with a clean(er) slate.

      Obama doesn’t do clean breaks from past failed policies. Also, I doubt Iraqis on the ground really appreciate all the nuances in our occupation to the degree you find them credible. If you disagree, perhaps you could dig up some warrants to support your claims.

      Your examples of G, J, and SK have many factors that make them poor analogies for the occupation of Iraq.

      Finally: could I interest you in a side bet that Operation Enduring Freedom fails to end next year?

  • Simple Mind

    …and “Hello Empire”

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