Eight months shy of its deadline for pulling the last American soldier from Iraq and closing the door on an 8-year war, the Pentagon is having second thoughts.
Reluctant to say it publicly, officials fear a final pullout in December could create a security vacuum, offering an opportunity for power grabs by antagonists in an unresolved and simmering Arab-Kurd dispute, a weakened but still active al-Qaida or even an adventurous neighbor such as Iran.
The U.S. wants to keep perhaps several thousand troops in Iraq, not to engage in combat but to guard against an unraveling of a still-fragile peace. This was made clear during Defense Secretary Robert Gates' visit Thursday and Friday in which he and the top U.S. commander in Iraq talked up the prospect of an extended U.S. stay. ...
Sen. Lindsey Graham, a leading skeptic of the Obama administration's plan to turn over the Iraq mission to the State Department in January, has called this a formula for failure. Graham, R-S.C., says the U.S. needs to keep at least 10,000 troops in Iraq into 2012.
"If we're not smart enough to work with the Iraqis to have 10,000 to 15,000 American troops in Iraq in 2012, Iraq could go to hell," Graham said on CBS's "Face the Nation" on April 4. He said it was imperative that the U.S. remain to "make sure Iran doesn't interfere with the Iraqi sovereignty" and to help develop an Iraq that emerged from decades of oppressive rule by Saddam Hussein with no army, a crippled economy and a corrupted political order. ...
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Comment: In the face of the latest unconstitutional war in Libya, can Americans finally admit to themselves that we were horribly lied to by these oligarchs concerning Iraq?
Unless the states take back their rightful place in Congress and demand their truly constitutional role in declaring war as the founders had created (the 17th Amendment never gave these 100 oligarchs the unilateral right to declare war outside their state's judgment; only the states can declare war!), we will continue to see our wealth and the lives of our young wasted away by the corporatist and globalist oligarchy.