Renamed Combat Brigades Carry on in Iraq

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

In order to fulfill his promise to the American people that all U.S. combat units would be withdrawn from Iraq by August 31 of this year, President Barack Obama’s Department of Defense has simply altered the designation of brigades from “combat” to “advise and assist.” In truth, nearly 50,000 combat soldiers will remain in the country, having been regrouped into seven Advise and Assist Brigades, along with two National Guard infantry brigades being kept around “for security,” and two combat aviation brigades.

The first Advise and Assist Brigade, the 4th Brigade Combat Team of the 1st Armoured Division from Fort Bliss, Texas, arrived in Iraq in the spring.
As Kenneth M. Pollack of the Brooking Institution put it in The Washington Post, “American troops in Iraq will still go into harm’s way. They will still accompany Iraqi units on combat missions—even if only as ‘advisers.’ American pilots will still fly combat missions in support of Iraqi ground forces. And American special forces will still face off against Iraqi terrorist groups in high-intensity operations. For that reason, when American troops leave their bases in Iraq, they will still, almost invariably, be in full ‘battle rattle’ and ready for a fight.”
-Noel Brinkerhoff
Combat Brigades in Iraq Under Different Name (by Kate Brannen, Army Times)
Five Myths About the Iraq Troop Withdrawal (by Kenneth M. Pollack, Washington Post)
Obama Keeps Combat Troops in Iraq…and They will Still Engage in Combat (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov)


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