"I will promise you this, that if we have not gotten our troops out by the time I am president, it is the first thing I will do. I will get our troops home. We will bring an end to this war. You can take that to the bank." -Presidential candidate Barack Obama.
When President Bush failed to pull out of Iraq, Senator Obama in 2007 said that Congress should overrule the president and end the war in order to represent the American people.
Later, candidate Obama explained he would begin a withdrawal in his first month in office, pull out one to two brigades per month and be done in 16 months. That would have been back in May 2010. Seventeen months after President Barack Obama pledged to withdraw all combat brigades from Iraq by Sep. 1, 2010, he quietly abandoned that pledge Monday, admitting implicitly that such combat brigades would remain until the end of 2011.
Secretary of Defence Robert Gates in an appearance on Meet the Press Mar. 1, 2009, said the "transition force" remaining after Aug. 31, 2010 would have "a very different kind of mission", and that the units remaining in Iraq "will be characterised differently...They will be called advisory and assistance brigades," said Gates. "They won't be called combat brigades." But "advisory and assistance brigades" were configured with the same combat capabilities as the "combat brigade teams"
Gen. Odierno was asked by Washington Post correspondent Tom Ricks "what the U.S. military presence would look like around 2014 or 2015". Odierno said he "would like to see a …force probably around 30,000 or so, 35,000, which would still be carrying out combat operations..."
The Obama administration and the Pentagon are trying to trick a war-weary American public into believing that the 50,000 US troops that will be more or less permanently garrisoned in the rather permanent-looking bases that the US has constructed around Baghdad and elsewhere in Iraq will be just like the US troops lodged more or less permanently in Germany, Japan and Korea and in other countries around the world. But those troops aren't doing any fighting. That will not be the case for the soldiers based in Iraq, however, which is a country still torn by internecine conflicts created or unleashed by the US invasion, and which also has many armed fighters who are committed to ousting the US entirely from their occupied country. And indeed, that 50,000-troop army is actually an army of occupation. Its role in training an Iraqi army and police force, as in Afghanistan, is to create a puppet military that will do its bidding. This is fundamentally different from the role of garrisons in South Korea, Japan,or Germany.
Ah , politicians and real politik