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Author: Subject: Obama Announces End of Iraq War, All Troops Gone by 2012

Zen Peach





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  posted on 10/21/2011 at 12:18 PM
http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2011/10/obama-announces-end-of- iraq-war-all-troops-gone-by-2012/247162/

Obama Announces End of Iraq War, All Troops Gone by 2012
By Garance Franke-Ruta
Oct 21 2011, 1:02 PM ET 2

"Today I can report that, as promised, the rest of our troops will come home by the end of the year. After nearly nine years, America's war in Iraq will be over."


President Obama announced the complete withdrawal of all remaining troops from Iraq by the end of 2011.

"As a candidate for president I pledged to bring the war in Iraq to an end," the president said Friday, speaking from the White House.

"Today I can report that, as promised, the rest of our troops will come home by the end of the year. After nearly nine years, America's war in Iraq will be over."

Pledging that troops stationed in Iraq will "definitely be home for the holidays," the president praised the more than one million men and women who have fought in Iraq since war was declared there in 2003.

"The last American soldiers will cross the border out of Iraq with their heads held high...that is how Americans military efforts in Iraq will end," the president said.

He also noted that the end of the war in Iraq would reflect a transition in America's military priorities. "The tide of war is receding," he said. The drawdown of 100,000 troops from Iraq since Obama took office freed the armed forces to focus on the war in Afghanistan and the fight against al-Qaeda, he said, with results that have been seen in recent months, including the killing of Osama bin Laden.

Obama's remarks came after a morning call with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

 

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Universal Peach



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  posted on 10/21/2011 at 12:21 PM
Great news! However, how long before the thousands of private contractors and the army of State Department personnel come home? No one seems to want to ask this question of the administration. Not the media, not the public, and certainly not Congress. Smoke and mirrors, boys and girls.
 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 10/21/2011 at 12:23 PM
I'm just glad the soldiers are going to return. As for the private contractors...they're there by choice and they're being paid a heck of a lot better than our soldeirs so they're not my concern.

 

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Ultimate Peach



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  posted on 10/21/2011 at 12:25 PM
Bringing the rest of the troops home is most certainly NOT smoke and mirrors.
 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 10/21/2011 at 12:30 PM
Excellent news!

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 10/21/2011 at 12:50 PM
there must be lots of happy moms, dads, husbands, wives, sons, daughters, cousins, grandma's, grandpa's, boyfriends, girlfriends...and dogs, all across this country today.

great news !

 

Maximum Peach



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  posted on 10/21/2011 at 12:57 PM
quote:
As for the private contractors...they're there by choice and they're being paid a heck of a lot better than our soldeirs so they're not my concern.
Damn right!

This is good news.

 

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Universal Peach



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  posted on 10/21/2011 at 01:09 PM
quote:
Bringing the rest of the troops home is most certainly NOT smoke and mirrors.


When we have thousands of contractors and CIA personnel (under the guise of State Dept. "diplomats") costing billions per year, and in the case of the private contractors, exempt from the "rules" of war, it's smoke and mirrors.

 

Ultimate Peach



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  posted on 10/21/2011 at 01:21 PM
How about you post some factual numbers of how many contractors are currently there, how many will be there after the troops leave, how much taxpayers are paying for it and the source of your info.

Not that any of that will change that the troops coming home is not smoke and mirrors boys and girls.


 

Universal Peach



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  posted on 10/21/2011 at 01:28 PM
"According to new statistics released by the Pentagon, with Barack Obama as commander in chief, there has been a 23% increase in the number of “Private Security Contractors” working for the Department of Defense in Iraq in the second quarter of 2009 and a 29% increase in Afghanistan, which “correlates to the build up of forces” in the country. In Iraq, the Pentagon attributes the increase to better accounting. But, these numbers relate explicitly to DoD security contractors. Companies like Blackwater and its successor Triple Canopy work on State Department contracts and it is unclear if these contractors are included in the over-all statistics. This means, the number of individual “security” contractors could be quite higher, as could the scope of their expansion.

Overall, contractors (armed and unarmed) now make up approximately 50% of the “total force in Centcom AOR [Area of Responsibility].” This means there are a whopping 242,657 contractors working on these two US wars. These statistics come from two reports just released by Gary J. Motsek, the Assistant Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Program Support): “Contractor Support of U.S. Operations in USCENTCOM AOR, IRAQ, and Afghanistan and “Operational Contract Support, ‘State of the Union.’”

“We expect similar dependence on contractors in future contingency operations,” according to the contractor “State of the Union.” It notes that the deployment size of both military personnel and DoD civilians are “fixed by law,” but points out that the number of contractors is “size unfixed,” meaning there is virtually no limit (other than funds) to the number of contractors that can be deployed in the war zone.

At present there are 132,610 in Iraq and 68,197 in Afghanistan. The report notes that while the deployment of security contractors in Iraq is increasing, there was an 11% decrease in overall contractors in Iraq from the first quarter of 2009 due to the “ongoing efforts to reduce the contractor footprint in Iraq.”"

From the Pentagon website, contractors by the month:

http://www.acq.osd.mil/log/PS/CENTCOM_reports.html


 

Universal Peach



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  posted on 10/21/2011 at 01:36 PM
As I said, it's great that the "troops" are coming home, absolutely no argument there. What I'm suggesting is paying what are essentially mercenaries to provide the security the troops otherwise would be, and stationing thousands more State Dept. personnel there to continue supporting the Iraqi gov't, etc. is not a good idea in my opinion. As far as I'm concerned, it's just a continuation of our gargantuan overseas military presence and all the war profiteering that comes along with it.
 

Ultimate Peach



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  posted on 10/21/2011 at 01:49 PM
Unless I am missing something the text you provided is from 2009. The links ( which were helpful and I appreciate you posting it) from October says:

• OND Contractor Posture Highlights:
o There are currently approximately 52.7K DoD contractors in Iraq. This represents a 19% decrease as compared to the 3rd quarter 2011. The contractor to military to ratio in Iraq is now 1.13 to 1 (based on 46.7K military).
o In Iraq there is a focus on consolidating, de-scoping and cancelling contracts. We anticipate a continued steep decline in the overall number of contractors through December, 2011 as FOBs close and the military footprint is reduced.
o DoD and DoS continue to refine the detailed planning for post-2011 contract support. Since our last report, we now project that approximately 14K-15K contractors will remain at the end of fiscal year 2012 under the Economy Act in support of the enduring diplomatic and security assistance mission. Approximately 4,000 of the total will be directly supporting DOD mission areas and funded accordingly; the remaining contractor personnel are provided to support the Chief of Mission, Iraq, on a reimbursable basis

 

Universal Peach



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  posted on 10/21/2011 at 01:59 PM
You're not missing anything. What I'm frustrated about is why no one is asking the question of exactly when these contractors will completely leave Iraq and how much it's costing the taxpayers in the meantime. And the end of fiscal year 2012 is another year of this huge presence. Also, why the huge State Dept. presence? When will that end? Again, the media seems out to lunch in regard to this issue. Now, in all fairness, perhaps they'll ask these questions as this story gets more coverage.

[Edited on 10/21/2011 by Chain]

 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 10/21/2011 at 02:17 PM
quote:
You're not missing anything. What I'm frustrated about is why no one is asking the question of exactly when these contractors will completely leave Iraq and how much it's costing the taxpayers in the meantime. And the end of fiscal year 2012 is another year of this huge presence. Also, why the huge State Dept. presence? When will that end? Again, the media seems out to lunch in regard to this issue. Now, in all fairness, perhaps they'll ask these questions as this story gets more coverage.

[Edited on 10/21/2011 by Chain]


That's definitely information we need to have and the questions should be asked. But being glad our soldiers are coming home is another thing all together. Let's just get the boys and girls back home and THEN we can take on the other issue.

 

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Universal Peach



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  posted on 10/21/2011 at 02:22 PM
As I said, it's great the "troops" are coming home. No doubt about it. But what I'm partly referring to is the buildup by the State Dept.. See below:

http://pulitzercenter.org/reporting/iraq-united-states-consulate-expansion- military-troop-withdrawl

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/16/us-embassy-iraq-state-department-p lan_n_965945.html

Some idea of the cost of security alone:

http://thinkprogress.org/security/2011/06/07/238681/state-dept-3-billion-fo r-contractors-to-guard-diplomats-in-iraq/

 

Ultimate Peach



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  posted on 10/21/2011 at 02:26 PM
quote:
You're not missing anything. What I'm frustrated about is why no one is asking the question of exactly when these contractors will completely leave Iraq and how much it's costing the taxpayers in the meantime. And the end of fiscal year 2012 is another year of this huge presence. Also, why the huge State Dept. presence? When will that end? Again, the media seems out to lunch in regard to this issue. Now, in all fairness, perhaps they'll ask these questions as this story gets more coverage.

[Edited on 10/21/2011 by Chain]



Well the numbers in the article say there were 132,610 contractors in 2009, the link says there are 52,000 there now and says there are being reduced continually and expect 14-15,000 at the end of 2012. That is all trending as it should be from what I can see and yes I am all for that trend to continue as it should. Its a far cry from a few years back when many claimed there would be 2008-2009 level numbers on contractors in Iraq even after our troops were gone. All sounds on course to me and like good news.

 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 10/21/2011 at 02:35 PM
The troops coming home is a result of President Bush's surge working. Plain and simple. Who voted against the Surge?? Senator Barack Obama.

Congrats to our troops. Obviously they will benefit from coming home. Time will tell if Iran will benefit from this as well. Meanwhile, Saddam gone.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 10/21/2011 at 03:02 PM
OMG!

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 10/21/2011 at 03:03 PM
On second thought I do have something to add. Bush gets credit for the 'surge' although Obama has been in office for going on three years.....but Obama gets the blame for other things Bush did when in office. You can't pick and choose....oh wait....yes, you do seem to think you can.

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 10/21/2011 at 03:12 PM
quote:
On second thought I do have something to add. Bush gets credit for the 'surge' although Obama has been in office for going on three years.....but Obama gets the blame for other things Bush did when in office. You can't pick and choose....oh wait.... yes, you do seem to think you can.

You're just figuring that out now??

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 10/21/2011 at 03:27 PM
Some may not like the way Obama has handled the horrible economy he inherited. Some may not like the way the first stimulus was spent. Some don't like the health care bill he pushed through.

However, there is no denying that he has done a masterful job on foreign policy and the war on terror! A far far far more superior job than the last administration who were brutal as far as foreign policy goes. He has been a very good commander in chief killing scores of terrorist leaders without putting American soldiers at undue risk, has followed through on ramping down the war in Iraq, has also followed through with a ramp down in Afghanistan after a temporary surge, and has regained much of the respect we lost around the world during the last administration. Obama has been a breath of fresh air as far as foreign policy goes after eight years of W and company!

 

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Extreme Peach



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  posted on 10/21/2011 at 03:56 PM
quote:
The troops coming home is a result of President Bush's surge working. Plain and simple.


This actually made me laugh out loud.

 

True Peach



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  posted on 10/21/2011 at 04:02 PM
quote:
The troops coming home is a result of President Bush's surge working. Plain and simple. Who voted against the Surge?? Senator Barack Obama.

Congrats to our troops. Obviously they will benefit from coming home. Time will tell if Iran will benefit from this as well. Meanwhile, Saddam gone.


if Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld had LISTENED to General Shinseki when he said they needed at least 200,00 troops BEFORE they invaded Irag, instead of doing everything they could to discredit him, and ultimately destroying his career out of revenge for his "insubordination", they NEVER WOULD HAVE NEEDED A SURGE TO BEGIN WITH. And possibly THOUSANDS of American deaths could have prevented.

There - fixed that for ya.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 10/21/2011 at 04:42 PM
Getting our troops out of Iraq is great news. Now let's get them out of Afghanistan and back home.

 

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Extreme Peach



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  posted on 10/21/2011 at 04:43 PM
quote:
quote:
The troops coming home is a result of President Bush's surge working. Plain and simple.


This actually made me laugh out loud.


x2

 
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