Foreign Policy Blogs

The Surge Ends

It seems that the Bush Administration has given up its rigidity when it comes to troop numbers in Iraq (maybe they read my last post!).  As Time and CNN.com reported this week, the US is withdrawing troops from Iraq.  But don't get excited yet; this only means that levels are returning to their original number prior to the surge, plus 15,000.  Interestingly, The New York Times went further, reporting that the US might actually be considering an increased draw down, continuing to 120,000-130,000, about 25,000 less than where we are right now. 

There is yet another reason not to get our hopes up though; if the US does increase our withdrawal from Iraq, the plan is to reroute our military muscle in order to combat the increasingly unstable situation in Afghanistan.  There is also the possibility of using these so-called extra troops “potentially [for] other missions.” (NYTimes)  I don't know exactly what that means, but it scares me. 

What I’m wondering, aside from why we took our military power away from our original arena in Afghanistan, is what will happen to these troops now?  Most likely, they will be sent home for an entirely too short R&R, then called back to fight in Afghanistan.  Unfortunately, it seems that this withdrawal is bittersweet.  The problem is that many in the military do not get an adequate or even mandated rest period in between tours.  It seems that even with this withdrawal, our military will still remain overstretched. 


A picture of why it has become necessary to redeploy troops from Iraq into Afghanistan.
From the NYTimes Online

 

Author

Jennifer Bushaw

Jennifer Bushaw holds an MA from the University of Chicago in Middle Eastern Studies with an emphasis on policy. She focused her research, including her Thesis, on modern Iraq and the Iraq war. She also has a Bachelor's in History from the University of Michigan. Jennifer is currently working as an Investigative Research Associate for a security advisory and management firm in Chicago, Illinois.

Areas of Focus:
Iraq-US Policy; Security; Coalition Operations;

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