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June 10, 2007

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And then Little Orphan Annie sang that the sun would come out tomorrow.

When you have no idea what your goal is, you cannot decide how you will accomplish it. If you don't know what success is, you'll never know if you have it. Next year, indeed.

Our Friedman cup runneth over...

If it feels good, say it.

(Actually, the top brass knows the military is stretched to the breaking point and has probably put Bush on notice that this can't go on...)

It's worth noting that the WaPo piece is by Thomas Ricks, their top, and most reliable, military reporter.

Other points worth noting include that this is hugely more elaborate than what Phil Carter and others have described; it bears all the earmarks of standard Pentagon Exaggeration-For-Effect:

[...] One official estimated that with only one major route from the country -- through southern Iraq to Kuwait -- it would take at least 3,000 large convoys some 10 months to remove U.S. military gear and personnel alone, not including the several thousand combat vehicles that would be needed to protect such an operation.
The other key point is that this is what's described as what's left after the "pullout":
[...] Such a long-term presence would have four major components. The centerpiece would be a reinforced mechanized infantry division of around 20,000 soldiers assigned to guarantee the security of the Iraqi government and to assist Iraqi forces or their U.S. advisers if they get into fights they can't handle.

Second, a training and advisory force of close to 10,000 troops would work with Iraqi military and police units. "I think it would be very helpful to have a force here for a period of time to continue to help the Iraqis train and continue to build their capabilities," Odierno said.

In addition, officials envision a small but significant Special Operations unit focused on fighting the Sunni insurgent group al-Qaeda in Iraq. "I think you'll retain a very robust counterterror capability in this country for a long, long time," a Pentagon official in Iraq said.

Finally, the headquarters and logistical elements to command and supply such a force would total more than 10,000 troops, plus some civilian contractors.

But aside from these guys, we'll have left Iraq. The Iraqis will never notice we're still there!

When we left our troops in Germany after the occupation was officially ended, there was clear evidence that an independent German government wanted us there and that there was an external threat that we were protecting against. We were not there to defend the new German government.

When we left our troops in Korea after that war, we were not an occupying force and we did not protect the government of South Korea against internal problems.

No matter how you look at it, this is a continuing occupation, but we are hoping that we will be able to get more Iraqi collaborators. I wonder what Bush will do when Sadr manages to get a bill passed in the Iraqi parliament that requires the US to remove its troops.

I wonder what Bush will do when Sadr manages to get a bill passed in the Iraqi parliament that requires the US to remove its troops.
Yes, I wonder:
The parliament today passed a binding resolution that will guarantee lawmakers an opportunity to block the extension of the U.N. mandate under which coalition troops now remain in Iraq when it comes up for renewal in December. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, whose cabinet is dominated by Iraqi separatists, may veto the measure.

The law requires the parliament's approval of any future extensions of the mandate, which have previously been made by Iraq's prime minister. It is an enormous development; lawmakers reached in Baghdad today said that they do in fact plan on blocking the extension of the coalition's mandate when it comes up for renewal six months from now.

Reached today by phone in Baghdad, Nassar al Rubaie, the head of the Al-Sadr bloc in Iraq's Council of Representatives, said, "This new binding resolution will prevent the government from renewing the U.N. mandate without the parliament's permission. They'll need to come back to us by the end of the year, and we will definitely refuse to extend the U.N. mandate without conditions." Rubaie added: "There will be no such a thing as a blank check for renewing the U.N. mandate anymore, any renewal will be attached to a timetable for a complete withdrawal."

Maybe he'll see if the Iraqi parliamentarian is in the hospital for gallbladder surgery and try to get him to sign a paper putting Sadr on double secret probation?

I wonder what Bush will do when Sadr manages to get a bill passed in the Iraqi parliament that requires the US to remove its troops.

He'll probably get Hillary and Barak on the phone, and ask them to reiterate their public statements on 'phased withdrawal' which looks a lot like the 'post-occupation troop presense' story quoted from the Washington Post.


Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton foresees a "remaining military as well as political mission" in Iraq, and says that if elected president, she would keep a reduced military force there to fight Al Qaeda, deter Iranian aggression, protect the Kurds and possibly support the Iraqi military.

Link-1 ---


Link-2 ---


Obama (on withdrawal): "The plan allows for a limited number of U.S. troops to remain in Iraq as basic force protection, to engage in counter-terrorism and to continue the training of Iraqi security forces. Link-3

One of my favorite musicals, favorite numbers: Sunset Boulevard, “This Time Next Year”.

(What are you people looking at? Yes, I like Broadway shows – in fact I love them. In fact, I bet I’ve seen more than you. So there.)

Yeah? I'll bet I envy you more than you envy more, so there!

wow. I'm so incoherent with envy I can't even type right!

I envy that though. Incoherence that is…

My personal bet is that by October we will be consolidating headquarters, transitioning combat forces to be more training teams, and removing National Guard and Reserve Forces.

So I told my wife to set a place for me at Thanksgiving.

What a coincidence. I hear the Cubs are planning on winning the World Series next year, too.

Actually, it wouldn't surprise me this time if this comes to fruition. Next year is an election year, the administration is getting a lot of pressure from Republicans to do something.

Of course, for the several thousand who remain, it won't be very pretty.

From your lips to God's ears, jrudkis.

"Of course, for the several thousand who remain, it won't be very pretty."

Posted by: john miller

More like 10's of thousands, given a division + logistical support + SOF + 'trainers'.

Given that the place is extremely dangerous to US forces now, and that very few Iraqi forces can be trusted, I just can't see a small force doing that much.

In addition, there's Bush's ego to consider. I predict that he'll keep the 'surge' going until he leaves office. That way, he can say that he was winning. He'll let the next president deal with a burned-out force and a lost war.

The estimate seems to be about 40000 enduring (never say "permanent"!) for the "Korea model".
Iirc the US were also quite successful in strangling SK democracy developments for a few decades, a parallel one should also not mention in presence of GOPsters.

What a billmony post! Three cheers for you! and make it whiskey please.

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