Iraqi Cabinet approves 3-year security pact with U.S.

IOW, our troops have permission to stay three years after the UN mandate expires at the end of this year. U.S. soldiers and foreign contractors now can be tried under Iraqi law for crimes committed there (with certain limitations). Parliamentary approval still pending. Story here.

Before the election they balked and balked and it seemed like they couldn’t get us out of the country fast enough, even though the government leaders knew a civil war probably would mean them going to the wall. Does Obama really make that much of a difference to them?! :confused:

Will Obama really get us out in 18 months, then, or will he use this as an excuse to stay three years, since the Iraqis agree?

Define “get us out”. Obama always had wiggle room in his position, and I still think we will have 10s of thousands of troops there in 2012. They will probably not be operating combat missions, but they will be there just in case. We’ll need lots of them just to protect US civilian personnel and there is some minimum we’ll have to have or the ones who are there will be sitting ducks. And it’s going to be a very long time before the ISF has the logistical capabilities that we have there now.

When was the last time Obama actually mentioned that 18 months plan? I thought he started spinning that as soon as he got the nomination.

Why, in 2012, will we need civilian personnel there, beyond the embassy staff?

Not unless the pact is ratified by the Iraqi parliament within the next month and a half.
If that doesn’t happen, we’ll still have to go back to the UN.

The embassy staff numbers in the thousands. It’s the largest US embassy in the world. But there will also be plenty of non-combat military advisers on top of that.

Not to mention American companies and workers. Iraq’s economy is booming, and its infrastructure needs to be rebuilt from the ground up. The war, plus a decade of complete neglect by Saddam, has wrecked it. Iraq is going to be teeming with construction workers and international companies. That will make it a big target for middle-eastern terrorists of all stripes.

And 16 permanent ,wait I mean enduring, bases are still there. If they want us to stay, they can start off by paying 20 million a month. We can not afford to think about staying at all .

I thought Congress decided against having “enduring bases” in Iraq. A couple of years ago. Can’t seem to find the cite, though.

Yes, I seem to recall that they refused to fund it. Still, that’s just semantics. If we renew the leases every year for 50 years, are those not “enduring”? And if we build them as “enduring”, any future US government can decide to divest of them.

The U.S. managed to afford to keep tens of thousands of soldiers in Germany for 60 years. Tens of thousands in Okinawa. Tens of thousands in South Korea. Plus large bases in the Philippines and other strategic locations.

I see no major fiscal impediment to keeping 50,000 soldiers in Iraq indefinitely if that’s what it takes. Especially since the commitments in other areas are being scaled back.

The real question is whether or not they’ll be accepted by the Iraqis. If not, they’ll do more harm than good by staying. If so, it could be a major benefit to the U.S. to have a large presence in the heart of the Middle East.

How that shakes out is still unclear.

Maybe it’s time to reconsider whether we really need them there.

That reconsideration is done all the time. The US renegotiates its status of forces agreeements with these countries on a regular basis. Or are you using ‘reconsider’ as a euphemism for, “I don’t agree, and think they should all be pulled out of these countries”?

Considering that he’s not part of the political party that was obviously determined to stay there forever, and directly responsible for the devastation of Iraq and the slaughter of many thousands of Iraqis, of course.

And they can’t get us out any faster anyway.

Sorry, but what? Is the economy of Iraq booming or needs to be rebuilt from the ground up? Hate to ask, but cite on the booming Iraqi economy? It’s been quite a few years since the war - or at least since Mission Accomplished, or blaming all of Iraq’s current ill on Saddam, since it’s been almost as long since he was at the end of a rope.

Growing role in Iraq Economy

And In Iraq, the Market is Up

Iraq and U.S. Confer on Iraqi Economy

The context of that article is the budget hit that Iraq is taking from the collapse in oil prices. But it’s still got lots of money (oil revenenues projected to be 67 billion next year), and the infrastructure does need to be rebuilt. Billions of dollars are already being invested, and the rate will accelerate.

The “civil war” that we are alleged to have prevented has happened, and its over for the moment. The struggle was between two pro-Iranian groups, roughly “populist” (Sadrist) versus the Establishment Suits (al-Nouri). They have cut a deal, brokered by the cleric al-Sistani and Iran. The primary contribution of America in this conflict has been providing shrapnel absorption units and a target-rich environment.

We have no decisions to make, the decisions are not ours to make. The war is over and everybody pretty much lost. Except Iran. Here’s your hat, there’s the door, hello, you must be going.

Sorry but again, what? From your own cite:

A $13 billion dollar shortfall on expected annual revenues and a **$400 billion dollar **investment still needed to rebuild infrastructure after all these years since the invasion and the decades of Saddam does not a booming economy make. Funny that they still say they must seriously activate foreign investment in the economy if it’s in such great booming shape. It’s not like the US hasn’t been trying to get Iraq up on its feet since the invasion that was supposed to pay for itself.

Honestly, admit the economy isn’t booming or provide a real cite that it is.

Of course, another distinct possibility is that there are ZERO Americans in Iraq in 2012. You know like happened in Vietnam in 1978. I even wonder if we might see a repeat of the helicopters taking off from the embassy roof.

Possible, but I think very unlikely. No president, especially a Democrat, is going to want those images on the news.