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Thursday, August 31, 2006


The 56-year (and counting) "exit strategy"

With the top U.S. commander in Iraq, Gen. George Casey, saying that "Iraqi security forces will need another year to 18 months before they can take over from American troops," and conservative Democrats like Diane Feinstein and Republicans like Christopher Shays suddenly talking about the need to "start" withdrawing troops so they can appear "antiwar" (emphasis on the "appear"), it's time to revisit something I wrote a year ago about the 56-year (55 at that time) and counting "exit strategy":
U.S. troops entered Korea in 1950; the Korean War nominally ended (without a peace treaty, but with a truce) in 1953. There are still 37,000 American troops in Korea. Ah, but don't worry, "As Koreans stand up, we will stand down."
"The Pentagon wants to have 25,000 troops in South Korea by the end of 2008, compared to 37,500 last year, a reduction in forces that U.S. commanders say is made possible by the growing capability of South Korea's 690,000 troops."
It's sure taken a long time for 690,000 South Koreans to represent a "growing capability," hasn't it?
And, in a similar vein, when Gen. Casey starts talking about the Iraqi troops "taking over" from American troops, even if, unlike all previous similar predictions, that were to come true, it doesn't remotely mean that the U.S. occupation would end on that same time frame. Not if the American people, and the Iraqi resistance (especially the latter), don't make it happen. Because if it's up to the Republicans and Democrats, it won't ever happen. Not for 56 years. At a minimum.

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