President Barack Obama has made it official; “Let me say this as plainly as I can: by August 31, 2010, our combat mission in Iraq will end.” This is a direct quote from the President’s speech to the Marines at Camp Lejeune on February 27, 2009. He went on to say that pursuant to the Status of Forces Agreement that the US and Iraqi governments agreed to, “I intend to remove all U.S. troops from Iraq by the end of 2011. We will complete this transition to Iraqi responsibility, and we will bring our troops home with the honor that they have earned.”
For someone like me, who was opposed to this war of choice from the beginning, it is a somber moment. Having served in the first Gulf War with the 3rd Armored Cavalry, I knew this second round of war in Iraq would be different. In the first war, we stopped short of going into the cities and towns, stopped short of removing the established government of Iraq. We knew this would radically change the mission from removing the Iraqi Forces from Kuwait to one of nation building. As a result, Desert Storm was a success. The United States and our allies suffered minimal casualties and quickly disarmed and removed the Iraqi military.
I believe this war of choice, this war of arrogance, this misguided ideological decision to send the forces of the United States into combat for the intended purpose of regime change and nation building will be seen as one of the worst foreign policy decisions in our nation’s history.
My heart goes out to all the families and friends of our soldiers who paid the ultimate price for their service to our country. My thoughts are with all those who came home changed forever; wounded physically, spiritually and emotionally. The human cost of this war is staggering. I hesitated to list casualties here as the numbers feel so impersonal, so statistical. These are real human beings represented in these statistics. Real American men and women whose lives were cut short, many of them in their youth. May we always remember and honor them.
American Military Deaths in Iraq
Since war began-3/19/03 4,252
American Military wounded in Iraq
Since war began-3/19/03 31,089
Total financial cost of the war as of Feb 28, 2009
National Priorities – Cost of War
So BO will end the war and was even bold enough to state a date. I’m surprised his arrogance did not get the better of him and even name a time. What is the opinion of Pol Obs about his escalation of the Afghanistan conflict? Does it not seem that he’s backstabbed all his peacenik supporters that salivated at the “end of the Iraq war” with the news that we are just moving our troops over to Afghanistan? Don’t know, just asking.
You are so right John. I am working on a piece about the nightmare that Afghanistan will become.
I agree with some of your points that we shouldn’t have gone into Iraq to begin with. However, we did. Now that we are there and after 6 long years and many American lives lost, the situation appears to be improving. This is wonderful to see that our fallen warriors did not die in vain. Iraq is now a fledgling democracy and I believe on the road to being an ally in a vital region of the world. I am concerned that BO announcing this date to end all combat missions and withdraw combat units will embolden our enemies both within Iraq and also the Iranians fighting a proxy war against us there. I believe that this will lead to the Iranian regime stepping up it’s efforts in Afghanistan, Gaza (with the help of Hamas and our $900 million US taxpayer dollars!), the West Bank and Lebanon against our other lone ally in the region, Israel.
I am concerned that BO seems to employ the Chicago political machine method to every single problem he’s faced thus far: hand out money and people will vote for/like you. That, in my opinion, is not leadership. With the shape our economy is currently in I see none of the hope he promised on the campaign trail and am troubled by his foreign policy decisions in Gaza and Iraq, not to mention escalation in Afghanistan. My fear is that my son will one day be involved in yet another war brought on by these mistakes.