1. We are still working on it, but Obama is ending the American role in
the Iraq war. combat troops out. The rest out in a year. Yes he will
keep a big embassy. Yes, US will still hold talks with Iraq on question
of keeping advisers. But Iraqis reject giving immunity to remaining US
troops, which the Pentagon will not accept.
2 Obama will withdraw 33,000 US troops from Afghanistan by end of next
year, and more to follow, until all combat troops are withdrawn by 2014,
the year of the next Afghanistan presidential election. Like Iraq, the
US will continue to try to negotiate long term security agreement with
Afghanistan including advisers, bases, etc. It is too early to tell, but
Afghanistan may oppose. A lot depends on Coalition countries including
Sweden and NATO bloc.
3. the center of gravity militarily is Pakistan, where Obama wants to rely
on drones and a negotiated compromise and others [in the Pentagon and
Kabul] still want total "victory." The urgent task now is to oppose an
escalation by US ground troops into Pakistan. [see our petition and
please circulate.] We must prevent another ground invasion and quagmire.
And demand a negotiated settlement as the only rational outcome.
4. the Long War against "Islamic jihadists" will continue in Yemen, Somalia
etc etc, with drones and secret forces but almost certainly not US
ground troops. I would hope there would be no ground troops from Europe,
as in Libyan conflict.
5. I don't think the drone war can "succeed" without thousands of "boots
on the ground". At the Chicago NATO/G-8 Summit this coming May, I hope
there will be protests from every country for a new policy of conflict
resolution without NATO invasions or drone strikes.
I hope this clarifies the situation. Kindly circulate if you wish. best,
in solidarity, TOM
Jag hoppas TOM har rätt, men jag befarar att CINDY SHEEHAN har rätt.
Hon har en betydligt mer skeptisk syn på Obamas "fredssträvanden" och
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