US Troop Level in Iraq Hits 5,000

 

In 2011, Obama shocked Pentagon leaders by pulling all US troops out of Iraq.

American military officials had said they wanted a “residual” force of as many as tens of thousands of American troops to remain in Iraq past 2011 as an insurance policy against any violence. Those numbers were scaled back, but the expectation was that at least about 3,000 to 5,000 American troops would remain…

Intelligence assessments that Iraq was not at great risk of slipping into chaos in the absence of American forces were a factor in the decision, an American official said.

More recently, with ISIS still controlling Mosul and vast swathes of Iraqi and Syrian territory, Obama has slowly been sending in more troops. Just today he approved 600 more American fighters to be shipped to the sandbox, bringing the total number back to a familiar figure.

The announcement means that there will soon be 5,000 American troops in Iraq, seven years after the Obama administration withdrew all American troops from the country.

Many military experts warned that Iraq could quickly slip back into chaos if we pulled out too quickly. If Obama had simply left 5,000 troops in Iraq instead of yanking all of them out, would ISIS even exist?

There are 58 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. Fred Cole Inactive
    Fred Cole
    @FredCole

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.: If Obama had simply left 5,000 troops in Iraq instead of yanking all of them out, would ISIS even exist?

    War Fighting 101: For any long-term military action to be successful, you need public support.  Doubly so in a democracy.

    In 2009, there wasn’t public will to keep troops in Iraq.  Not among the American public, nor among the Iraqi public.

    • #1
  2. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    Fred Cole: In 2009, there wasn’t public will to keep troops in Iraq.

    War fighting 101: You don’t do military strategy through Gallup. I like you, Fred, but thank God you don’t sit in either the Oval Office or the Pentagon.

    That’s finger-to-the-wind cravenness that betrays the troops that’s already fought, especially the dead.

    Oh, and according to Gallup your “lack of will” was barely north of 50%.

    • #2
  3. Jason Turner Member
    Jason Turner
    @JasonTurner

    Fred Cole:

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.: If Obama had simply left 5,000 troops in Iraq instead of yanking all of them out, would ISIS even exist?

    War Fighting 101: For any long-term military action to be successful, you need public support. Doubly so in a democracy.

    In 2009, there wasn’t public will to keep troops in Iraq. Not among the American public, nor among the Iraqi public.

    Surely Obama could have convinced the public that a small force of 5,000 troops was necessary. In 2009 he had a huge excess of political capital why not spend it on making the world a safer place. Maybe it would not have stopped ISIS forming as ISIS were mainly formed in Syria but we would be in a far better situation than what we are in now.

    • #3
  4. PHCheese Inactive
    PHCheese
    @PHCheese

    Fred Cole:

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.: If Obama had simply left 5,000 troops in Iraq instead of yanking all of them out, would ISIS even exist?

    War Fighting 101: For any long-term military action to be successful, you need public support. Doubly so in a democracy.

    In 2009, there wasn’t public will to keep troops in Iraq. Not among the American public, nor among the Iraqi public.

    Who cares. Leaders do hard things. Obama was a coward and wrong.

    • #4
  5. Roberto Member
    Roberto
    @Roberto

    Let us all remember the important thing though, there are absolutely no boots on the ground. No siree, not a one.

    • #5
  6. Dave Sussman Contributor
    Dave Sussman
    @DaveSussman

    Fred Cole:

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.: If Obama had simply left 5,000 troops in Iraq instead of yanking all of them out, would ISIS even exist?

    War Fighting 101: For any long-term military action to be successful, you need public support. Doubly so in a democracy.

    In 2009, there wasn’t public will to keep troops in Iraq. Not among the American public, nor among the Iraqi public.

    Leadership means making unpopular decisions. Ask GWB how popular the successful surge was.

    • #6
  7. Jon Gabriel, Ed. Admin
    Jon Gabriel, Ed.
    @jon

    Fred Cole:

    War Fighting 101: For any long-term military action to be successful, you need public support. Doubly so in a democracy.

    In 2009, there wasn’t public will to keep troops in Iraq. Not among the American public, nor among the Iraqi public.

    But on the good side, Congress voted to send these 5,000 troops. Oh, wait.

    • #7
  8. Fred Cole Inactive
    Fred Cole
    @FredCole

    EJHill: War fighting 101: You don’t do military strategy through Gallup.

    I’m not talking about Gallup.  That’s be an idiotic way to run a war.  I’m talking about public support.

    In 2009, everyone was exhausted by six years of blood and blood and blood and blood and blood.  In the US, we had just elected a peace candidate (which didn’t work out too well) and the outgoing president had negotiated a withdrawal.  There wasn’t public will either here or over there to keep troops in Iraq.

    Without public support, you cannot sustain a military action.

    Could Barack Obama have put a gun to the head of the Iraqis and muscled a new agreement to keep troops in country.  Maybe.  Could he have spent political capital reversing himself and keeping troops in Iraq.  Maybe.  But in early 2009 he had bigger fish to fry here at home.

    • #8
  9. Jason Turner Member
    Jason Turner
    @JasonTurner

    Fred Cole:

    EJHill: War fighting 101: You don’t do military strategy through Gallup.

    I’m not talking about Gallup. That’s be an idiotic way to run a war. I’m talking about public support.

    In 2009, everyone was exhausted by six years of blood and blood and blood and blood and blood. In the US, we had just elected a peace candidate (which didn’t work out too well) and the outgoing president had negotiated a withdrawal. There wasn’t public will either here or over there to keep troops in Iraq.

    Without public support, you cannot sustain a military action.

    Could Barack Obama have put a gun to the head of the Iraqis and muscled a new agreement to keep troops in country. Maybe. Could he have spent political capital reversing himself and keeping troops in Iraq. Maybe. But in early 2009 he had bigger fish to fry here at home.

    Maybe Obama could have demonstrated foresight, maybe Obama could have demonstrated courage and fortitude, maybe Obama should never have become President of the United States as he lacked the will to make tough decisions that are required from the leader of the free world.

    • #9
  10. Fred Cole Inactive
    Fred Cole
    @FredCole

    Jason Turner: Maybe Obama could have demonstrated foresight, maybe Obama could have demonstrated courage and fortitude, maybe Obama should never have become President of the United States as he lacked the will to make tough decisions that are required from the leader of the free world.

    Maybe President Bush could’ve had the courage and foresight not to get us involved in Iraq in the first damn place.

    War Fighting 102: It’s a hell of a lot easier to get into wars than it is to get out of them.

    • #10
  11. JimGoneWild Coolidge
    JimGoneWild
    @JimGoneWild

    So why couldn’t we leave troops in Iraq, like Germany, Japan, Italy and South Korea? Oh, that’s right. A republican President sent them to Iraq. Can’t have that–a successful republican military campaign doesn’t fit the narrative.

    • #11
  12. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    Fred Cole: I’m not talking about Gallup.

    Oh. Then you just “feel” public sentiment. Or do you do some sort of Vulcan mindmeld?

    • #12
  13. Jason Turner Member
    Jason Turner
    @JasonTurner

    Fred Cole:

    Jason Turner: Maybe Obama could have demonstrated foresight, maybe Obama could have demonstrated courage and fortitude, maybe Obama should never have become President of the United States as he lacked the will to make tough decisions that are required from the leader of the free world.

    Maybe President Bush could’ve had the courage and foresight not to get us involved in Iraq in the first damn place.

    War Fighting 102: It’s a hell of a lot easier to get into wars than it is to get out of them.

    And let Suddam Hussein continue to butcher his own people, mistakes were made and lives were lost but they were not lost for no reason, a tyrant no longer walks this earth.

    • #13
  14. Fred Cole Inactive
    Fred Cole
    @FredCole

    Jason Turner: And let Suddam Hussein continue to butcher his own people, mistakes were made and lives were lost but they were not lost for no reason, a tyrant no longer walks this earth.

    We don’t know what would’ve happened, we only know what did happen.  And what did happen was a [redacted] disaster and continues to be one.

    • #14
  15. GLDIII Reagan
    GLDIII
    @GLDIII

    Fred Cole:

    EJHill: War fighting 101: You don’t do military strategy through Gallup.

    I’m not talking about Gallup. That’s be an idiotic way to run a war. I’m talking about public support.

    In 2009, everyone was exhausted by six years of blood and blood and blood and blood and blood. In the US, we had just elected a peace candidate (which didn’t work out too well) and the outgoing president had negotiated a withdrawal. There wasn’t public will either here or over there to keep troops in Iraq.

    Without public support, you cannot sustain a military action.

    Could Barack Obama have put a gun to the head of the Iraqis and muscled a new agreement to keep troops in country. Maybe. Could he have spent political capital reversing himself and keeping troops in Iraq. Maybe. But in early 2009 he had bigger fish to fry here at home.

    Fred 60% of the folks in this country cannot even name the 3 branches of government. Unfortunately the public “chooses” to remain blissfully ignorant about a great many things that can and will bite them in the butt later on. Also given that Obama has such a compliant press, do you think if he wanted to he could not have quietly left 5K to 10K of troops to cover his exit? He deliberately chose to take them out to appease the Iranians with whom, for reasons still really unfathomable, prioritized them over US interests. As for public fatigue, with less than 2 million active and reserve members in the military out of 330 million really? Triple that number for family, and they are the ones with skin in the game. Their only complaint is to not be jerked around. So public fatigue is a media horsepoop talking point.

    If you wanted to play this game “straight up” he could have just laid it out on the table with how many troops he was going to leave and his rationale. I mean come on, he is the master orator right? This is the very definition of leadership. Saleman ship dude.

    Given how he has behaved his second term do you even think he gives a rat behind what we the American public think (the word here is indifference)? He is seriously disappoint in us for not living up to his standards as it is…

    As for the blood, blood, blood, had he allowed the folks who know how to rain down distruction and death and bequeath the military the full latitude to do their job, instead checking with the lawyers, and getting a stink load of “mother may I’s” for clearing every rats nest of insurgents, this would have been over long ago. Instead he followed the Pres Johnson mode of clearing every targeting decision thru the White House. This may have been before your time, but it was one of the major factors why Johnson did not even bother to run for a second term.

    So Dumb, Dumb, Dumb. Every desision that man has made since getting into the Whitehouse Dumb, Dumb, Dumb. Jan 20th cannot come soon enough. We could not even get the racial healing bonus from electing the first black president from his stupid behavior.

    • #15
  16. Jason Turner Member
    Jason Turner
    @JasonTurner

    Fred Cole:

    Jason Turner: And let Suddam Hussein continue to butcher his own people, mistakes were made and lives were lost but they were not lost for no reason, a tyrant no longer walks this earth.

    We don’t know what would’ve happened, we only know what did happen. And what did happen was a god damn disaster and continues to be one.

    But would it still be a disaster if Obama had not pulled out all the troops? Most articles I have read on Iraq suggest that Iraq was in a fairly stable condition when the troops were pulled out.

    • #16
  17. GLDIII Reagan
    GLDIII
    @GLDIII

    Jason Turner:

    Fred Cole:

    Jason Turner: And let Suddam Hussein continue to butcher his own people, mistakes were made and lives were lost but they were not lost for no reason, a tyrant no longer walks this earth.

    We don’t know what would’ve happened, we only know what did happen. And what did happen was a god damn disaster and continues to be one.

    But would it still be a disaster if Obama had not pulled out all the troops? Most articles I have read on Iraq suggest that Iraq was in a fairly stable condition when the troops were pulled out.

    Stable but spineless, our troop’s professionalism put the starch in their shirts. They should have stayed (at less than a 10K level) for a decade to insure they developed their own Esprit de Corps,  then we could leave quietly with a reasonable expectation of alliance.

    • #17
  18. Ward Robles Inactive
    Ward Robles
    @WardRobles

    The invasion of Iraq started March 20, 2003. 13.5 years of roadside bombs, 130 degrees, deployment after deployment, 4,500 plus Americans killed, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis killed, $750 million to $1 trillion spent to get rid of one dictator. The counter factual could have been worse, but no one knows. I cannot help but believe that past presidents such as Eisenhower or Reagan would have managed the crisis more wisely and with more restraint.

    • #18
  19. Jason Turner Member
    Jason Turner
    @JasonTurner

    GLDIII:

    Jason Turner:

    Fred Cole:

    Jason Turner: And let Suddam Hussein continue to butcher his own people, mistakes were made and lives were lost but they were not lost for no reason, a tyrant no longer walks this earth.

    We don’t know what would’ve happened, we only know what did happen. And what did happen was a god damn disaster and continues to be one.

    But would it still be a disaster if Obama had not pulled out all the troops? Most articles I have read on Iraq suggest that Iraq was in a fairly stable condition when the troops were pulled out.

    Stable but spineless, our troop’s professionalism put the starch in their shirts. They should have stayed (at less than a 10K level) for a decade to insure they developed their own Esprit de Corps, then we could leave quietly with a reasonable expectation of alliance.

    Yes, the situation was stable while US and allied troops remained, not so stable without US troops.

    • #19
  20. KC Mulville Inactive
    KC Mulville
    @KCMulville

    Iraq has shown us two sides of the strategy coin. When faced with an impending threat, how do you respond? Bush acted. He removed the threat. But his ability to control the aftermath was limited, and we paid a big price. The alternative was to do nothing, which is what Obama’s approach is. But Obama has no ability to control the aftermath either, and the death toll is certainly no better under Obama than it was under Bush.

    Obviously, each president was dealing with specific circumstances, but you’d have to conclude that both failed – mostly in the aftermath of whatever policy they followed.

    You know the old saying that the coverup is worse than the crime? These days, the aftermath is worse than the war.

    • #20
  21. Fred Cole Inactive
    Fred Cole
    @FredCole

    Ward Robles: I cannot help but believe that past presidents such as Eisenhower or Reagan would have managed the crisis more wisely and with more restraint.

    Yeah. They both would’ve had the good sense to stay the hell out.

    • #21
  22. Fred Cole Inactive
    Fred Cole
    @FredCole

    KC Mulville: When faced with an impending threat,

    Except there wasnt an impending threat.

    • #22
  23. JimGoneWild Coolidge
    JimGoneWild
    @JimGoneWild

    Fred Cole:

    KC Mulville: When faced with an impending threat,

    Except there wasnt an impending threat.

    Right. The 10,000 pounds of sarin gas that wound up in Jordan, taken from terrorists about 10 years ago, was made where?

    • #23
  24. Annefy Member
    Annefy
    @Annefy

    Fred Cole:

    Ward Robles: I cannot help but believe that past presidents such as Eisenhower or Reagan would have managed the crisis more wisely and with more restraint.

    Yeah. They both would’ve had the good sense to stay the hell out.

    How the hell do you know?

    • #24
  25. Annefy Member
    Annefy
    @Annefy

    Fred Cole:

    KC Mulville: When faced with an impending threat,

    Except there wasnt an impending threat.

    Wait … What? Surely we know this to be inaccurate? I might not be up to speed on conspiracy theories from way back when (see my comment in another thread @fredcole) but surely we know this to be not true.

    Otherwise, why are there Vets suffering from the effects of chemical weapons? And why are we paying those benefits?

    If there were no chemical weapons, no WMD, then surely our retired and sick military are … what? Making it up?

    • #25
  26. Ball Diamond Ball Inactive
    Ball Diamond Ball
    @BallDiamondBall

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.: Many military experts warned that Iraq could quickly slip back into chaos if we pulled out too quickly.

    Sorry, but you’ll need to prove that to James of England.

    • #26
  27. Ball Diamond Ball Inactive
    Ball Diamond Ball
    @BallDiamondBall

    Annefy:

    Fred Cole:

    Ward Robles: I cannot help but believe that past presidents such as Eisenhower or Reagan would have managed the crisis more wisely and with more restraint.

    Yeah. They both would’ve had the good sense to stay the hell out.

    How the hell do you know?

    Not worth it.

    • #27
  28. Ball Diamond Ball Inactive
    Ball Diamond Ball
    @BallDiamondBall

    Fred Cole:

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.: If Obama had simply left 5,000 troops in Iraq instead of yanking all of them out, would ISIS even exist?

    War Fighting 101: For any long-term military action to be successful, you need public support. Doubly so in a democracy.

    In 2009, there wasn’t public will to keep troops in Iraq. Not among the American public, nor among the Iraqi public.

    Everybody with the stomach for “Warfighting 101” lectures from our resident open borders advocate, raise your hand.

    • #28
  29. KC Mulville Inactive
    KC Mulville
    @KCMulville

    Fred Cole: Except there wasnt an impending threat.

    We could re-litigate that all day. But more importantly … would you argue that there’s no threat now?

    • #29
  30. Chris Campion Coolidge
    Chris Campion
    @ChrisCampion

    Barry’s the change our troops were never waiting for.

    • #30

Comments are closed because this post is more than six months old. Please write a new post if you would like to continue this conversation.