At first glance, this might not sound to some observers like it’s that bad a move. But it’s worrisome, and the reason is stated simply. It leaves U.S. troops in Iraq, some still at the remote bases, but with less security than they had before the “drawdown.”
It’s also being done as the result of attacks on the U.S. and other Coalition troops at the Iraqi bases earlier in 2021. Such a prelude inevitably creates a sense that the Iran-backed “militias” that launched the attacks have the U.S. on the run. That’s not a useful basis for security expectations going forward.
It isn’t getting much media attention in the U.S., but an 18 December article indicates the Iraqi army has announced that “foreign combat troops” have left Al-Asad air base in Anbar Province, and that the base is now under the full control of the Iraqi army. Continue reading “U.S. executing weak-hand troop reset in Iraq”