We Aren't Leaving Iraq
President Obama Extends Pull-Out Time to 19 Months
The New York Times revealed today (2/25/09) that President Obama has extended the amount of time it will take for US forces to pull out to 19 months, originally his campaign promise guaranteed 16 months.
Obama has said that this current timeframe will continue unless "things get hot" on the ground in Iraq, implying that more time may be required to get the majority of US forces out of Iraq.
Sources at the State Department declared that "tens of thousands" of soldiers will stay in Iraq to safeguard Iraq and US interests in the area.
So we aren't getting out of Iraq, huh?
I completely called this one. I said we would never leave Iraq, just like Germany, Japan and South Korea. I just didn't seem like the United States to completely pull out of an area that it has experienced conflict in. It seems that tens of thousands of troops will be stationed in western Iraq in-case they are required to quell violence within, or outside the country.
It sounds kind of tyrannical that we will stay there, but it does make sense. The sense is solidified after key figures within the Iraqi Government have requested to keep a US presense in Iraq. Of course, these statement were private and eventually leaked to the US media. Iraqi Government officials deny this, and say the US must leave. Many spectators believe this is because the US presence in Iraq is unpopular, and a Iraqi government official seeking election would be a dead man if found to be supporting the US.
It all makes sense now.
IED In Iraq
Life Becoming Easier, Though Power Plays Still Exist
The United States and Iraqi forces seem to have done a decent job in quelling some of the violence in Iraq. Military casualties are down, as are civilian casualties. IEDs, small-arms attacks and suicide bombing are still occuring within the Baghdad Metropolitan area and Mosul. Mortar and rocket attacks on US bases and Iraqi police stations are down, but still occur.
Morale is slightly higher now than a year ago in Iraq, although Morale is sagging in the north near Mosul. Power Vacuums are beginning to be sealed as border control is becoming better with Iran (where most arms seem to come in from), and elections are beginning to hold more value--thus increasing their popularity with the people.
Shia and Sunni tensions are still extremely high, yet Kurdish deaths are down and are largely unaffected by the ethnic and religious tensions raging across the country. US and Iraqi forces have proven to be no match for centuries old religious tension.
Mass Terminations Within Iraq Government
The New York Times also revealed today that up to 62,000 firings have occured due to public servants failing loyalty tests in Iraq. Whether these "tests" are arbitrary garbage, writen exams, literacy tests or merely feuds with certain peoples (kurds, shia, etc.), is unknown.
IEDs Still a Threat
Resources on Iraq
- Iraq Index
Tracking variables of reconstruction & security in post-Saddam Iraq.
- U.S.-Iraq War resources - Memorial Library - University of Wisconsin-Madison
- The Human Cost of the War in Iraq
- U.S. Intelligence and Iraq WMD
- The War on Terrorism: Post-Saddam Iraq
The War on Terrorism: Post-Saddam Iraq
- War with Iraq Sources
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