Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Iraq: A Perpetual and Too-Large American Presence?

Joe Biden has been in Iraq for the past several days.

The Iraqis have not yet resolved the question of who will be the prime minister; each of al-Maliki and Allawi is trying to establish a coalition. I am not clear how the government is being run during this extended interlude - presumably al-Maliki remains in control?

At the end of August, the U.S. is supposed to complete its drawdown to 50,000 troops.  I do not believe there's been much violence against U.S. troops during 2010. I am not sure about Iraqi vs. Iraqi violence.

My concern/problem is this: I anticipate that these remaining 50,000 troops will be in Iraq for a very long time. I do not approve.  I'd be fine if we kept a couple thousand people on-the-ground to provide continuing support to the Iraqi military and police, but 50,000 sounds more to me like an ongoing (imperialist) endeavor to exert control over another country.

I guess we will see if Obama moves to further decrease the American presence, but given his misguided decision to increase the number of troops in Afghanistan, I am not optimistic.

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