Here’s a shot of the 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division column headed out of Iraq:
It’s actually OVER seven years ago. But who’s counting?
Yes, with 50,000 US troops still in Iraq acting as advisers and trainers, there’s still a ways to go. And it will be years before we can really start to determine if its been worth it all, though I think indications are pretty good at this point. Pulling the last combat brigade out is an important milestone.
I wonder what the plan is for pre-positioned equipment? I’d leave all the vehicles and equipment for at least a couple of heavy brigades, a Stryker brigade, and a bunch of MRAPs in a a high state of readiness, to be honest. If things really degenerate and light infantry is needed, they can just be flown in or use the MRAPS from Kuwait. But getting heavy combat formations over there takes time. Remember that the 3rd Infantry Division brigade that spearheaded the 2003 invasion was not using their own equipment but pre-positioned tanks, vehicles, and equipment that had been left staged in Kuwait.
I had been predicting that we’d see at least one of the big bases our forces have built up within Iraq left occupied by US troops and a division’s worth of heavy stuff. I still think that makes sense. But I guess it’s not to be.