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NY Times Exposes Obama's Troop Withdrawal Myth

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by Hightop, Oct 31, 2011.

  1. Hightop

    Hightop Member

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    Our Nobel Peace Prize winning president hasn't satisfied his bloodthirst yet...

    Tax me!

    <iframe class="youtube-player" type="text/html" width="640" height="385" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/M1naCJ4SAoM" frameborder="0">

    </iframe>

    U.S. Planning Troop Buildup in Gulf After Exit From Iraq

    By THOM SHANKER and STEVEN LEE MYERS

    MacDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. — The Obama administration plans to bolster the American military presence in the Persian Gulf after it withdraws the remaining troops from Iraq this year, according to officials and diplomats. That repositioning could include new combat forces in Kuwait able to respond to a collapse of security in Iraq or a military confrontation with Iran.

    The plans, under discussion for months, gained new urgency after President Obama’s announcement this month that the last American soldiers would be brought home from Iraq by the end of December. Ending the eight-year war was a central pledge of his presidential campaign, but American military officers and diplomats, as well as officials of several countries in the region, worry that the withdrawal could leave instability or worse in its wake.

    After unsuccessfully pressing both the Obama administration and the Iraqi government to permit as many as 20,000 American troops to remain in Iraq beyond 2011, the Pentagon is now drawing up an alternative.

    In addition to negotiations over maintaining a ground combat presence in Kuwait, the United States is considering sending more naval warships through international waters in the region.

    With an eye on the threat of a belligerent Iran, the administration is also seeking to expand military ties with the six nations in the Gulf Cooperation Council — Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Oman. While the United States has close bilateral military relationships with each, the administration and the military are trying to foster a new “security architecture” for the Persian Gulf that would integrate air and naval patrols and missile defense.

    The size of the standby American combat force to be based in Kuwait remains the subject of negotiations, with an answer expected in coming days. Officers at the Central Command headquarters here declined to discuss specifics of the proposals, but it was clear that successful deployment plans from past decades could be incorporated into plans for a post-Iraq footprint in the region.

    For example, in the time between the Persian Gulf war in 1991 and the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the United States Army kept at least a combat battalion — and sometimes a full combat brigade — in Kuwait year-round, along with an enormous arsenal ready to be unpacked should even more troops have been called to the region.

    “Back to the future” is how Maj. Gen. Karl R. Horst, Central Command’s chief of staff, described planning for a new posture in the Gulf. He said the command was focusing on smaller but highly capable deployments and training partnerships with regional militaries. “We are kind of thinking of going back to the way it was before we had a big ‘boots on the ground’ presence,” General Horst said. “I think it is healthy. I think it is efficient. I think it is practical.”

    Mr. Obama and his senior national security advisers have sought to reassure allies and answer critics, including many Republicans, that the United States will not abandon its commitments in the Persian Gulf even as it winds down the war in Iraq and looks ahead to doing the same in Afghanistan by the end of 2014.

    “We will have a robust continuing presence throughout the region, which is proof of our ongoing commitment to Iraq and to the future of that region, which holds such promise and should be freed from outside interference to continue on a pathway to democracy,” Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said in Tajikistan after the president’s announcement.

    During town-hall-style meetings with military personnel in Asia last week, the secretary of defense, Leon E. Panetta, noted that the United States had 40,000 troops in the region, including 23,000 in Kuwait, though the bulk of those serve as logistical support for the forces in Iraq.

    As they undertake this effort, the Pentagon and its Central Command, which oversees operations in the region, have begun a significant rearrangement of American forces, acutely aware of the political and budgetary constraints facing the United States, including at least $450 billion of cuts in military spending over the next decade as part of the agreement to reduce the budget deficit.

    Officers at Central Command said that the post-Iraq era required them to seek more efficient ways to deploy forces and maximize cooperation with regional partners. One significant outcome of the coming cuts, officials said, could be a steep decrease in the number of intelligence analysts assigned to the region. At the same time, officers hope to expand security relationships in the region. General Horst said that training exercises were “a sign of commitment to presence, a sign of commitment of resources, and a sign of commitment in building partner capability and partner capacity.”

    Col. John G. Worman, Central Command’s chief for exercises, noted a Persian Gulf milestone: For the first time, he said, the military of Iraq had been invited to participate in a regional exercise in Jordan next year, called Eager Lion 12, built around the threat of guerrilla warfare and terrorism.

    Another part of the administration’s post-Iraq planning involves the Gulf Cooperation Council, dominated by Saudi Arabia. It has increasingly sought to exert its diplomatic and military influence in the region and beyond. Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, for example, sent combat aircraft to the Mediterranean as part of the NATO-led intervention in Libya, while Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates each have forces in Afghanistan.

    At the same time, however, the council sent a mostly Saudi ground force into Bahrain to support that government’s suppression of demonstrations this year, despite international criticism.

    Despite such concerns, the administration has proposed establishing a stronger, multilateral security alliance with the six nations and the United States. Mr. Panetta and Mrs. Clinton outlined the proposal in an unusual joint meeting with the council on the sidelines of the United Nations in New York last month.

    The proposal still requires the approval of the council, whose leaders will meet again in December in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, and the kind of multilateral collaboration that the administration envisions must overcome rivalries among the six nations.

    “It’s not going to be a NATO tomorrow,” said a senior administration official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss diplomatic negotiations still under way, “but the idea is to move to a more integrated effort.”

    Iran, as it has been for more than three decades, remains the most worrisome threat to many of those nations, as well as to Iraq itself, where it has re-established political, cultural and economic ties, even as it provided covert support for Shiite insurgents who have battled American forces.

    “They’re worried that the American withdrawal will leave a vacuum, that their being close by will always make anyone think twice before taking any action,” Bahrain’s foreign minister, Sheik Khalid bin Ahmed al-Khalifa, said in an interview, referring to officials in the Persian Gulf region.

    Sheik Khalid was in Washington last week for meetings with the administration and Congress. “There’s no doubt it will create a vacuum,” he said, “and it may invite regional powers to exert more overt action in Iraq.”

    He added that the administration’s proposal to expand its security relationship with the Persian Gulf nations would not “replace what’s going on in Iraq” but was required in the wake of the withdrawal to demonstrate a unified defense in a dangerous region. “Now the game is different,” he said. “We’ll have to be partners in operations, in issues and in many ways that we should work together.”

    At home, Iraq has long been a matter of intense dispute. Some foreign policy analysts and Democrats — and a few Republicans — say the United States has remained in Iraq for too long. Others, including many Republicans and military analysts, have criticized Mr. Obama’s announcement of a final withdrawal, expressing fear that Iraq remained too weak and unstable.

    “The U.S. will have to come to terms with an Iraq that is unable to defend itself for at least a decade,” Adam Mausner and Anthony H. Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies wrote after the withdrawal announcement.

    Twelve Senators demanded hearings on the administration’s ending of negotiations with the Iraqis — for now at least — on the continuation of American training and on counterterrorism efforts in Iraq.

    “As you know, the complete withdrawal of our forces from Iraq is likely to be viewed as a strategic victory by our enemies in the Middle East, especially the Iranian regime,” the senators wrote Wednesday in a letter to the chairman of the Senate’s Armed Services Committee.

    Thom Shanker reported from MacDill Air Force Base, and Steven Lee Myers from Washington.
    This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

    Correction: October 31, 2011

    An earlier version of this article incorrectly described twelve senators who requested hearings on the negotiations that led to the withdrawal. Eleven of them were Republicans, not twelve. (Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut is an independent.)

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/30/w...iraq-troop-increase-in-persian-gulf.html?_r=1
     
  2. glynch

    glynch Contributing Member

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    I am not going to read the article at this time, but if the title is true, I would not be at all surprised. In fact I would expect it. Obama is very tricky when it comes to parsing language and having supposedly bold acts that turn out in practice to be very cautious and carefully devised to appease his big money funders and even his GOP opponents.
     
  3. A_3PO

    A_3PO Member

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    Someone explain why this is the wrong thing to do.
     
  4. tallanvor

    tallanvor Contributing Member

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    You mean he is a liar.

    Whether it is right or wrong is not the point. It's not what Obama said he was going to do.
     
  5. A_3PO

    A_3PO Member

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    What exactly did Obama lie about?

    If you don't want to discuss whether this is right or wrong, stay out of the conversation. For most of us, that is more important than anything else.
     
  6. Dubious

    Dubious Contributing Member

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    World military power and diplomacy are confusin'
     
  7. tallanvor

    tallanvor Contributing Member

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    According to the NYT; about removing troops from Iraq

    Maybe you should make a new thread. The OP and video linked is not discussing whether it is right/wrong to leave troops in Iraq. It's mentioning Obama's dishonesty on the subject.
     
  8. A_3PO

    A_3PO Member

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    Where does the NYT accuse Obama of lying? It says in the very first sentence remaining troops are leaving Iraq.

    Why on Earth can't the merits of the strategy be discussed in this thread? Is it just because you say so?
     
  9. Sweet Lou 4 2

    Sweet Lou 4 2 Contributing Member
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    Because he says so. What these buffoons say is true is true. They are programmed to attack.
     
  10. JuanValdez

    JuanValdez Contributing Member

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    I could have sworn that we had a president who made sure that Kuwait was not part of Iraq. Did I dream that? :confused:

    Seriously, we have bases all over the world, with active duty soldiers posted to them. The bad part about being posted to Iraq was that you could be killed (followed by the possibility of being guilty or accused of an atrocity while trying to avoid being killed). Being posted to Kuwait seems more akin to being posted to Germany, except it's hotter and the women are not as easy. So, it doesn't seem to be a lie at all, as the move does satisfy the primary concern people had with being in Iraq in the first place.

    And strategically, it seems like the smart thing to do. If we have to move in again, we'd be poised to do so. And just by being poised to do so, we may deter those that might cause the trouble in the first place.
     
    1 person likes this.
  11. madmonkey37

    madmonkey37 Contributing Member

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    Last time I checked Kuwait isn't located in Iraq. I don't really see what's so controversial about stationing troops in Kuwait, its' something we've been doing for the last 20 years. It also sounds like the prudent thing to do considering how fragile the situation is in Iraq and its importance on stable oil prices.
     
  12. tallanvor

    tallanvor Contributing Member

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    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lie#Lying_by_omission

    When he was giving those speeches he might have mentioned that he was moving troops next door to move in if an emergency arises. This is assuming the NYT article is to be believed.
     
  13. A_3PO

    A_3PO Member

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    My goodness! Move on son and let the grownups discuss.
     
  14. tallanvor

    tallanvor Contributing Member

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    Also you fail to realize that the article implies Obama would move back into Iraq if conditions got unstable. Thus the point of putting all the troops next door. Something I am sure many Obama supporters would disapprove of. Obama failed to mention this too when he was giving those speeches to boost his approval numbers.
     
  15. Northside Storm

    Northside Storm Contributing Member

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    He probably should have also mentioned that a surprising amount of peanuts were sold at the local village fair yesterday.
     
  16. Depressio

    Depressio Contributing Member

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    Ending the operation in Iraq makes for a good headline, but it means little while we're still entrenched in Afghanistan, a country that would ally with Pakistan in a heartbeat once we leave. Over there, the terrorists are constantly finding new ways to kill our troops.

    We need to get out of both countries and quit trying to police the world.
     
  17. greenhippos

    greenhippos Member

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    Come on now fellas, unless I'm reading into this wrong, and I'm sure you all will every so politely let me know if I didn't. Obama seems to be taking troops out of Iraq and stationing them right next door in Kuwait, the fact that they're not directly inside the country makes little difference. The troops aren't 'coming home'.
     
  18. tallanvor

    tallanvor Contributing Member

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    Well there are currently like 40,000 troops in Iraq, so if only 5 - 10 thousand more are being added to Kuwait then lots would be coming home. None the less, Obama is a douche.
     
  19. Northside Storm

    Northside Storm Contributing Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  20. FranchiseBlade

    FranchiseBlade Contributing Member
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    clearly troops in Kuwait are only there to satisfy Obama's blood lust.

    Too bad for the people in this thread don't know the difference between Iraq and Kuwait. Is this a reflection of the right wing as a whole, or just the right wingers on this site?
     

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