Operation Iraqi Freedom finishes up today seven years and 5 months after kicking off. Combat Ops (with a tiny tiny thong of cover) are over. A new phase of Great Satan's ME Adventure commences.
44's pre commander in chief campaign promise to totally unass all combat cats in the Land betwixt the two rivers within 16 months—sometimes hinting of an even faster schedule, to pull out one to two combat brigades per month (and there were 15 in the country on inauguration day) has been a myth.
19 months later - Great Satan sweetly deploys five brigades and 50K troops in house, with full stashed suites of weaponry accoutrements.
Re designated as 'advise and assist brigades', their composition and capabilities still have a killer 85 to 90 percent overlap with traditional combat units. And they will continue to go on joint patrols, man joint checkpoints with Iraqis and otherwise continue many of the tasks that they were carrying out before. Also, in the absence of a peace treaty or ceasefire accord, Great Satan doesn't really get to decide when combat is over.
Operation New Dawn will be kicking off now - and that includes the Iraq SOFA thingy that 43 negotiated - that Great Satan is totally welcome military in Iraq til December 2011.
44 played it as "...Bottom line is this: the war is ending. Like any sovereign, independent nation, Iraq is free to chart its own course. And by the end of next year, all our troops will be home."
Uh, yessir -got it.
"...Of course Iraq is free to chart its own course—as is South Korea, and for that matter Afghanistan or Pakistan or, say, Mexico."
If Great Satan works out an arrangement for advisory and training forces to stay in Iraq, that would be very much worth considering, and shouldn't be ruled out because of a campaign promise.
Great Satan has an opportunity, "...to help make Iraq a success and an ally, shouldn't we take it?
Pic - "New Dawn"