Politico reports that on August 18, 2010 President Obama said, “we are keeping the promise I made when I began my campaign for the presidency. By the end of this month we will have removed 100,000 troops from Iraq and our combat mission will [end].”
Except that 50,000 troops will remain in Iraq and 30,000 troops will be added to Afghanistan, bringing to nearly 100,000 the number of combat troops in Afghanistan.
This comes over seven years after, George W. Bush landed on an aircraft carrier (May 1, 2003) making a speech in front of a large banner declaring “Mission Accomplished”. During his speech Bush said, “In the Battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed.” In a less publicized announcement, CNN reports that “[Donald] Rumsfeld said that in regard to Afghanistan, Bush, U.S. Central Command Chief Tommy Franks, and Afghan President Hamid Karzai ‘have concluded we’re at a point where we clearly have moved from major combat activity to a period of stability and stabilization and reconstruction activities.’”
The United States “and our allies have prevailed” yet combat troops remained in Iraq & Afghanistan.
About a month after the aircraft carrier incident (June 5, 2003) Bush made another speech, “America sent you on a mission to remove a grave threat and to liberate an oppressed people, and that mission has been accomplished.”
“Mission has been accomplished” yet combat troops remained in Iraq.
No one should be surprised, it’s just a repeat of a pattern that began in the late 1800’s after the Spanish-American War when Cuba, Guam, Philippines & Puerto Rico were given to the USA for $20 million. Cuba became independent in 1902, Philippines was granted independence in 1946, however Puerto Rico & Guam are still territories of the USA.
Next came the “Banana Wars” – intervention in Latin America from the end of the Spanish American War in 1898 until 1935 – in Cuba, Mexico, Panama, Haiti, Dominican Republic and Nicaragua; American troops remain in each country.
American troops remain in Germany, Italy, Austria, Hungary, France and most other European countries even though World War II ended in 1945. American troops remain in Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Malaysia, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and most other Asian countries, most of the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Caribbean & South America. In all, there are approximately 369,000 American troops in 159 foreign nations and territories.
Jason Ditz of AntiWar.com writes, “It was another of those great TV moments. Embedded reports filming as the “last” brigade of American troops in Iraq cross the border into Kuwait bringing over seven years of unhappy conflict to its final, conclusive end. America was, at last, at peace.” So, on yet one more occasion it’s been declared “war over” only to have troops remain for an indefinite period of time, just as they remain around the world.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Trinidad and Tobago
United Arab Emirates