2007 November 01 Thursday
US To Start Partial Iraq Troop Withdrawal
US soldiers have had their tours of duty in Iraq extended and their times at home between tours shortened. The US military has reached its practical limits. Now the surge is nearing an end and that brings a reality test.
Tikrit, Iraq, AND Washington - The end of the US surge is in sight here. In two key central Iraqi provinces, American units will soon reduce their forces and modify their role in a region that is a microcosm of the fractured nation. There are Sunnis and Shiites in this Baathist heartland. Al Qaeda fighters have fled here from Anbar Province. This region is home to one of Iraq's three major oil refineries.
It's a risky move, both US and Iraqi officials say, but a necessary test of the strength and ability of Iraqi security forces.
The US is pulling out one of its brigades (about 3,500 soldiers) in December without replacing it. As the Americans leave, the US plans to give Iraqis more responsibility, an overall strategy the US will employ as it pulls out five brigades – the bulk of the surge forces – by next summer.
I am expecting a surge in violence as the number of US military personnel in Iraq goes down. Anyone else want to make a prediction?
The movie "Road Warrior" (1981) was all about oil in Australia. After civilization collapsed in the world, the deserts of Australia are full of desperate gangs, factions and war lords hunting for gasoline just to stay alive:
After the U.S. pulls out of Iraq, there are 3 scenarios:
1) The "Road Warrior" type total disintegration of Iraq into tribal wars with water, fuel, electricity, civilization, etc, becoming scarce luxuries.
2) Iran gaining total control of the South and East of Iraq, bringing order to that part of Iraq by means of annexation.
3) A hybrid new regime that will later give rise to a very anti-western new Islamic alliance between both the Sunnis and Shiites that is united by the hatred of America and Europe, which will be referred to in future history books in the 22nd century, as the initial phase of the new Islamic Superpower that will extend from Morocco to Indonesia. This superpower might later include former Saudi Arabia whose shaky monarchy has a very high probability of getting overthrown. And don't count on Pakistan's pro-Western government to last very long. Now the new superpower will have both oil money and the technical know how to build thousands of nukes instead of a few hundred. They will demand compensation for the Western colonization of their lands during the 19th century and early 20th century.
Not keeping Saddam in power in Iraq was the mistake of the century, for he was secular, despite his bad temper and occasional rude behavior.