CENTCOM Already Undermining Iraq SOFA
by Deacon Blues
Christina Siun over at firedoglake has a great post up tonight revealing that our own military is already plotting to undermine the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) that Bush just signed with Prime Minister al-Maliki last week. How do they plan to do this? By relabeling our combat forces as support forces that could then stay in Iraqi cities and provinces far beyond the SOFA-required withdrawal dates. General Ray Odierno is actively in the midst of this, with the full support of CENTCOM's David Petraeus, and most notably Defense Secretary Robert Gates.
That would be the same Robert Gates who is Barack Obama's SecDef.
No one tells us how we plan to pay for extending 40,000-75,000 troops in Iraq indefinitely, at a time when the Pentagon has already planned to increase the Afghanistan force by 30,000. Likewise, no one tells us how the Iraqis feel about this, or what this will do for al-Maliki's political support inside the country if he is an active party to this deception.
But it appears that the military is pre-emptively taking steps to cement a long-term presence in place inside Iraq before Obama takes office. Not surprisingly, this is what happens when you appoint Bush's SecDef as your own, instead of putting your own team in place to ensure that your policy changes are carried out. Then again, what exactly is Obama's Iraq policy?
I can see a reason to maintain a strong presence in the region because of how Bush has made Iran stronger than it should be, but is this how the new administration is approaching Iran, with or without Iraq's support?
Lastly, if we still have 75,000-100,000 American troops inside Iraq at the start of the 2012 campaign season, shouldn't Barack Obama face a strong primary challenge within his own party?