Remember Iraq? You know, that ancient Mesopotamian country the United States has been afflicting since 2003? Well, under the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) that the Bush administration negotiated with Iraq's pretense of a government, U.S. troops are supposed to be all gone by the end of 2011.
Lots of thoughtful people have doubted that will really happen. What -- the empire give up an outpost that also sits on such vast quantities of oil? Can't be.
But I've long thought it would happen, because, little as our media can admit it, the U.S. is quietly slinking out of a country we never controlled nor defeated, though we sure made a mess of millions of Iraqi lives while trying. The Democratic administration can't have our troops dying in any significant numbers in that war zone: Afghanistan is more than enough to roil domestic political waters. And then there's the effort to dispose of Qaddafi.
Thus it is interesting to read what Adam L. Silverman, a culture and foreign language adviser at the U.S. Army War College, thinks is going to happen. From Tom Rick's "defense" blog:
The Bush administration's war succeeded in none of its objectives -- the current U.S. administration isn't going to waste any of its political capital on trying to hold off the settling of scores that is so likely over the next few years. Silverman worked in Iraq; he thought the occupying force had a responsibility to rebuild what it had destroyed, but was thwarted at every turn by ideologies emanating from GOP Washington. But reading his description of the post-invasion snafus, it seems utterly clear that the U.S. never understood much about Iraq at all. Just enough to blow things and people up.