The “War is Over”, Except it Isn’t & Never Will Be

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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.

Afghanistan
Albania
Algeria
Angola
Argentina
Armenia
Australia
Austria
Azerbaijan
Bahamas
Bahrain
Bangladesh
Barbados
Belgium
Belize
Bolivia
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Botswana
Brazil
Bulgaria
Burma
Burundi
Cambodia
Cameroon
Canada
Chad
Chile
China
Colombia
Congo
Costa Rica
Cote D’lvoire
Croatia
Cuba
Cyprus
Czech Republic
Denmark
Djibouti
Dominican Republic
East Timor
Ecuador
Egypt
El Salvador
Eritrea
Estonia
Ethiopia
Fiji
Finland
France
Gabon
Georgia
Germany
Ghana
Greece
Guatemala
Guinea
Guyana
Haiti
Honduras
Hungary
India
Indonesia
Iran
Iraq
Ireland
Israel
Italy
Jamaica
Japan
Jordan
Kazakhstan
Kenya
Kosovo
Kuwait
Kyrgyzstan
Laos
Latvia
Lebanon
Liberia
Libya
Lithuania
Luxembourg
Macedonia
Madagascar
Malaysia
Mali
Malta
Marshall Islands
Mauritania
Mexico
Moldova
Mongolia
Morocco
Mozambique
Nepal
Netherlands
New Zealand
Nicaragua
Niger
Nigeria
Norway
Oman
Pakistan
Panama
Paraguay
Peru
Philippines
Poland
Portugal
Qatar
Romania
Russia
Rwanda
Saudi Arabia
Senegal
Serbia
Sierra Leone
Singapore
Slovakia
Slovenia
Somalia
Spain
South Africa
South Korea
Sri Lanka
Sudan
Sweden
Switzerland
Syria
Tajikistan
Tanzania
Thailand
Togo
Trinidad and Tobago
Tunisia
Turkey
Turkmenistan
Uganda
Ukraine
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom
Uruguay
Uzbekistan
Venezuela
Vietnam
Yemen
Zambia
Zimbabwe

Territories with U.S. troops are: American Samoa, Bermuda, Diego Garcia, Greenland, Guam, Hong Kong, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, St. Helena, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Wake Island.List courtesy Laurence M. Vance