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The U.S. Needs to Leave Iraq

Rex Tillerson testified [1] that U.S. forces won’t be leaving Iraq for a very long time:

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson vowed the U.S. will remain in Iraq to fight the Islamic State whether the central government wants them there or not, in a Monday evening testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

“We will remain in Iraq until ISIS is defeated and we are confident that ISIS has been defeated,” Tillerson declared, however, noting that Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi “has given to me no indication he is in any particular hurry to have us depart.”

Since there will probably always be some remnant or splinter group that claims to be ISIS or its successor, the administration is committing the U.S. to continued fighting in Iraq for years if not decades to come. Linking the U.S. presence to the “defeat” of a particular jihadist group practically guarantees that the U.S. will have forces fighting there forever. The presence of American forces in Iraq will continue to serve as a magnet for jihadists to come to that country and as a boost for their recruiting, so their final “defeat” will prove elusive no matter how long U.S. forces stay there. The U.S. doesn’t need to keep fighting indefinitely in Iraq, and it should take the opportunity it has now to disentangle itself from that country as much as it possibly can.

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7 Comments To "The U.S. Needs to Leave Iraq"

#1 Comment By Florence On October 31, 2017 @ 2:05 pm

Those of us who want to get out of Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Niger, ad infintum, seem to be in the minority. It’s a shame that there doesn’t seem to be any end to it. I don’t have grandchildren, but you would think that people who do have grandchildren would look at them and consider if propping up corrupt governments on the other side of the world is worth the blood, Lives, and limbs of their grandchildren. Just think what we could do at home with the money we are pouring down that never ending sinkhole. But expressing those sentiments makes me unpatriotic.

#2 Comment By james On October 31, 2017 @ 2:57 pm

Our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan make sense only if one does not consider them as necessary to the defense of the US, but as business opportunities for the purpose of enriching the war profiteers who are dominant financial backers of both major parties today.

#3 Comment By Uncle Billy On October 31, 2017 @ 3:50 pm

We have had troops in Germany and Japan for 72 years, and will continue to do so for decades more. How long is our commitment? 100 years? 500 years? How many generations do we have to defend them?

I think that every incoming President should spend Few hours in Arlington National Cemetery the day before his inauguration. No aides, just him and those white markers.

#4 Comment By sick of it On October 31, 2017 @ 4:49 pm

We need to leave the whole Middle East. Worst mistake we ever made.

#5 Comment By Porcupine On October 31, 2017 @ 4:58 pm

“The presence of American forces in Iraq will continue to serve as a magnet for jihadists to come to that country and as a boost for their recruiting, so their final “defeat” will prove elusive no matter how long U.S. forces stay there.”

And that doesn’t keep the American homeland safe, either.

They’re still coming here and attacking us – precisely because we’re over there, invading their countries and killing their relatives and friends, or helping others do it (as in Yemen, Gaza, the West Bank, or Syria). This idea that it’s very clever to fight them “over there so they don’t come over here” is complete crap. They’re coming over here BECAUSE we’re over there.

Speaking of which, it looks like the first NYC terror attack of the fall season is unfolding in lower Manhattan this afternoon – so much for “keeping us safe”.

#6 Comment By fall preview On November 1, 2017 @ 9:11 am

@Porcupine “Speaking of which, it looks like the first NYC terror attack of the fall season is unfolding”

Trump is better at keeping Israel happy with new wars and anti-Iran threats than he is at keeping the US safe.

Instead of building the wall, declaring a moratorium on immigration, deporting illegals, and re-vetting legal immigrants from the ME, and instead of pulling our troops out of the ME, we’ll probably start launching drone attacks and specops in Uzbekistan, which is where the NYC ISIS attacker came from. And oh look! Uzbekistan is adjacent to Afghanistan!

Big shout-out to Chuck Schumer, author of the insane “diversity” immigration program that let this terrorist into our country back in 2010. And an even bigger shout-out to Trump, who has done exactly nothing to get the terrorists out of here or stop new ones from coming here.

#7 Comment By old skeptic On November 4, 2017 @ 9:21 am

I have become convinced that we are not in Iraq or Afghanistan to build “stable” governments, which every fool now knows cannot be done. We are in those places because we fear the consequence we created if we leave, namely, the dominance of the region by Iran and the destruction of the Saudi monarchy. So, I have a question: why don’t we get real and make nice with Iran, and let the region fall under Iran’s dominance? And I have an answer: who is going to control the oil?