Tuesday, August 24, 2010


First of the Day: US fatality in Iraq after combat troops pulled

An American soldier was killed by a rocket strike near Basra today, in the first US fatality since the last combat troops left Iraq. —Martin Chulov reporting in "First US soldier killed in Iraq since withdrawal of combat troops"

Chulov reports that—

General Raymond Odierno told CNN the remaining troops could move back to combat if there was "a complete failure of the security forces", or if political divisions split the Iraqi security forces. "But we don't see that happening," Odierno said.

There seems to be almost nothing the military can see happening—even as it's happening.

Odierno did move the Iraqi goal post down the road a bit—

General Odierno said today it could take years to determine if the US-led invasion was a success. "A strong, democratic Iraq will bring stability to the Middle East, and if we see an Iraq that's moving toward that, two, three, five years from now I think we can call our operations a success," he said.

—implicitly admitting that the current Iraq is neither strong and democratic nor bringing stability to the Middle East.

Various interviews and news accounts I've heard over the past few weeks indicate that we are being prepped for "future engagements." (Psst!  We can't leave Iraq because it needs protection from the threat of Iran!) This first casualty of the "non-combat" phase of the U.S. occupation sadly will aid in the preparations.

Related posts
Neocons fear the pain of premature withdrawal (1/29/07)
Training the Iraqis: A contrary view (7/19/07)
It's finally arrived: Iraq on a platter!

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