Monday, December 22, 2008

How can you "redefine"...

...what you never really "defined" in the first place? US troops in Iraq have never had a clear mission. Find the WMDs? Oops... never were any to begin with. Right, then... depose Saddam? OK, done - can we go home now? No? What was up with all that "Mission Accomplished" shit? Fuck... OK, good soldier and all... now what? Spread democracy? Hey, check the purple fingers! Now can we leave? Say what? Not done yet? Shit. Suppress the insurgency? You mean the one we - check that - YOU created? Root out al Qaeda? Stop ethnic strife? Safeguard the oil? Secure the borders? Cover Blackwater's ass? I'm so fucking confused...

Pentagon Memo - With Pullout Deadlines Comes Effort to Redefine Role of U.S. Military in Iraq -
WASHINGTON — It is one of the most troublesome questions right now at the Pentagon, and it has started a semantic dance: What is the definition of a combat soldier? More important, when will all American combat troops withdraw from the major cities of Iraq?

The short answers are that combat troops, defined by the military as those whose primary mission is to engage the enemy with lethal force, will have to be out of Iraqi cities by June 30, 2009, the deadline under a recently approved status-of-forces agreement between the United States and Iraq.

The long answers open up some complicated, sleight-of-hand responses to military and political problems facing President-elect Barack Obama.

Even though the agreement with the Iraqi government calls for all American combat troops to be out of the cities by the end of June, military planners are now quietly acknowledging that many will stay behind as renamed “trainers” and “advisers” in what are effectively combat roles. In other words, they will still be engaged in combat, just called something else.
Orwell was born too soon.

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