When Will the Last Troops Come Home…Really?

Monday, March 09, 2009
Postcard for Returning Troops, 1919

On Sunday, the Obama administration brought sighs of relief to many Americans by announcing the first reduction of U.S. troops in Iraq—12,000 over the next six months. (Current troop strength in Iraq is 142,000.) But those who are old enough to remember the Vietnam War have heard this one before. President Richard M. Nixon announced the first troop withdrawals from Vietnam in June 1969, less than five months after his inauguration. However, the last troops did not leave until April 1975. If Obama follows this same timeline, which was highly successful for Nixon politically (until he ran into certain other problems), the last U.S. troops would not leave Iraq until January 2015. If its seems implausible that Obama would allow such a delay, take a look at some of the ambiguities in his previous announcements, as described in Withdrawing Combat Troops from Iraq…Kind of, Sort of, Maybe.

                                                                                                                                            -David Wallechinsky


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