WHITE HOUSE – U.S. Taking First Step in Withdrawal of Nearly 2,000 Troops from Iraq

The Associated Press has the details:

The United States is taking the first step in withdrawing nearly 2,000 troops from the war-ravaged country, a U.S. defense official said Monday, less than two weeks after President Donald Trump said in a speech that he wanted out of Iraq. It was not immediately clear whether all the troops will be left in Iraq, and the withdrawal would be gradual, U.S. officials said. U.S. forces in Iraq remain the same number in all. It is understood that the Trump administration believes that the troops need not be present as long as Iraq is stable.

The Iraqi foreign minister said the U.S. withdrawal was too late, and that he does not trust President Trump, and that the Kurds might revolt.

The two announcements by the U.S. leave a lot of unanswered questions, the most salient being:

When exactly will we hear the end of combat missions?

Trump made a big show of telling U.S. troops there to get out. That seems to be the first step in their departure. The question then becomes, when exactly do we leave?

This leaves the decision of when U.S. troops will leave in the hands of Mr. Trump and now the people who advise him on such matters. Also the people who serve as his top advisers were supporters of George W. Bush, they opposed removing troops from Iraq before the so-called surge, they wanted to increase the size of the Iraq Army, they urged Mr. Trump to take more risks with U.S. troops in Iraq. I have to say that I question how much (if any) influence Mr. Trump has with his top advisers.

A final question: What has Iraq gained from this war? What have the Kurds gained from the war?

Now Iran could very well become the political and economic leader of Iraq, who would help keep Iraq in subjugation to the mullahs and their theocratic despotism.

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