September 24, 2017

US Combat Troops Exit Iraq

Part of the triumphant US army unit leaving Iraq - The crowds of grateful citizens are obscured by the darkness, but we know they are there because the State Department said so.

The last American combat brigade in Iraq has left the country. The 4,000 strong 4th Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division began crossing by convoy into Kuwait early on Thursday the US military has announced.

This brings an early end to combat operations, which were scheduled to finish on 31st August.

Left behind in Iraq are 56,000 non-combatants who by a stroke of luck are trained in weapons usage and tactics. Even more of a coincidence is that there are weapons stored in their barracks.

So technically that means that all the ingredients are there for combat operations. But of course they wouldn’t be deployed. The army says they will only act if they are attacked or the Iraqi Government requests help.

In the past the army has been ‘attacked’ and forced to shoot people driving cars within 50 metres of army convoys, having family gatherings in remote locations or just looking plain suspicious.

It is unlikely the Iraqi government will ask for help. Things are calm at the moment. It is just trivial stuff like religious rivalries, bombing campaigns, assassinations, ethnic strife, corruption and disputes over oil revenues.

State Department spokesman PJ Crowley, practicing for a career move to stand up comedy said the US involvement in Iraq was far from over, but that it would be less intrusive and more civilian focused.

Some would argue that where the military are concerned things have always been too civilian focussed. Especially when it comes to firing weapons.

But wait PJ is not finished yet, going on to say “We are ending the war … but we are not ending our work in Iraq. We have a long-term commitment to Iraq.” Now call me old school but to end a war don’t both sides have to stop fighting?

Mr Crowley said the US had a “trillion dollar investment to protect in the country” and also wanted to see a “significant return on the 4,415 troops who have lost their lives in the conflict.”

So lets get this right – Iraq is now an ‘investment’ and the troops who died there were what? – expenses? If this is what they call business, please could the US military sort out their ‘investment’ in Afghanistan before thinking about investing anywhere else.