The Iraq War is over, USA heading home.

Discussion in 'Americas' started by FreekiN, Aug 5, 2010.

  1. FreekiN

    FreekiN ELITE MEMBER

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    Departing US Troops Pack Millions Of Items In Iraq

    JOINT BASE BALAD, Iraq August 3, 2010, 02:03 pm ET
    Everything from helicopters to printer cartridges is being wrapped and stamped and shipped out of Iraq. U.S. military bases that once resembled small towns have transformed into a cross between giant post offices and Office Depots.

    Soldiers who battled through insurgents and roadside bombs are now doing inventory and accounting. Their task: reverse over the course of months a U.S. military presence that built up over seven years of war.

    "We're moving out millions of pieces of equipment in one of the largest logistics operations that we've seen in decades," President Barack Obama said in a speech Monday hailing this month's planned withdrawal of all U.S. combat troops from Iraq.

    The orderly withdrawal is a far cry from the testosterone-fueled push across the berm separating Kuwait and Iraq, when American Marines and soldiers pushed north in the 2003 invasion, battling Saddam Hussein's army while sleeping on the hoods of their vehicles and eating prepackaged meals.

    "I think it's probably more challenging leaving, responsibly drawing down, than it is getting here, because you just have to figure out where everything is and getting it out of here. Are there enough airplanes, ships, containers, and do we have enough time to do that and meet the president's mandate?" said Col. David F. Demartino, who is responsible for infrastructure and support services at Balad, which is home to 25,000 troops and civilians.

    In essence the drawdown has been happening since late 2008. That's when the U.S. started to reduce its numbers following the surge, which raised the American presence to about 170,000. Now the U.S. has just under 65,000 troops in the country, and the withdrawal is reaching a more furious pace as the August deadline approaches.

    Only 50,000 U.S. service personnel will remain after August. All troops are supposed to leave and all bases close by the end of next year, unless Iraq asks the U.S. to renegotiate their agreement to allow a continued American presence.

    In mid-July, JSS Mahmoudiya - once a U.S. position just south of Baghdad in one of Iraq's most dangerous areas - was a ghost town. Tents were abandoned, covered with foam to retard fire, and the white-walled cafeteria was barren except for a few refrigerators holding drinks. The joint operations command was stripped of almost everything, including the big-screen TVs on which military personnel once watched operations.

    The next day, it was handed over to the Iraqi government to become an army facility.

    Each handover involves a painstaking process of inventorying everything on the base that the soldiers aren't taking with them. Every item is assessed to see if it can be moved and if so, whether it is needed anywhere else in the country. Many of the materials - water tanks, generators, and furniture - are eventually donated to the Iraqi government. As of July 27, $98.6 million worth of equipment has been handed over, most to the Iraqi army and Interior Ministry.

    More than 400 bases are being closed down or handed over to the Iraqi military. By September, the American military will have fewer than 100 bases in the country, down from a high of 505 in January 2008.

    Some of these bases look somewhat like small towns with elaborate dining facilities serving tacos and crab legs and gyms with rows of treadmills.

    About half the vehicles - what the military describes as "rolling stock" - that have left Iraq have gone to Afghanistan. More than 180,000 items like weapons or communications equipment have also been sent to Afghanistan over the past year.

    In the past, when troops rotated into Iraq they brought some weapons and other equipment with them. But they inherited most of their equipment - including Humvees and other armored vehicles - from the unit they replaced.

    But now as troops aren't being replaced, the last guys out must leave their equipment at the door to be redistributed, whether back to the U.S., other units in Iraq or to Afghanistan.

    That makes places like the Central Receiving and Shipping Point at Balad "the center of the universe," as one visiting officer nicknamed it. Equipment such as howitzers and helicopter blades or shipping containers and pallets arrives for redistribution.

    Sgt. 1st Class Stephen Latch runs the CRSP. He spent his first tour in Iraq with the infantry kicking down doors and hunting down members of Saddam's regime. The only time he really thought about logistics was to wonder when his ammo and food would arrive.

    Now he's at the center of the logistical version of a major offensive, helping ensure that the equipment goes south to Kuwait, the main exit point. Most material is driven down the heavily guarded main highway from Baghdad to the border, a more than 300-mile route. So far there have been no reports of significant attacks on any convoys.

    Latch said when he started his deployment last summer, they moved an average of about 2,500 items a month. Now he's moving almost six times that amount, and it's mostly going south.

    And people want it faster. It used to be something could sit in the CRSP yard for 45 days before heading to Kuwait, Latch said. But now if it's there for five days, people start calling and want to know why.

    "We have a very, very aggressive attitude," Latch said. "Everybody knows the stuff is going south. It's going to move no matter what. You can either fight the current or you can just push as hard as you can to get that stuff down there fast."

    The drawdown has not been without hiccups. The military was embarrassed by a report in the Times of London that contractors did not properly dispose of environmental waste removed from U.S. military bases.

    But U.S. commanders say they are addressing problems and are confident they will be able to meet the president's deadline.

    Demartino said that while going through shipping containers, buildings and offices at Joint Base Balad, soldiers have been stunned at the materials hoarded over the years in nooks and crannies all over the base.

    The biggest surprise was the thousands of printer cartridges tucked away by soldiers worried they would one day run out.

    "I walked through a few of these buildings, and I was thinking this is like Office Depot, and it's just people going 'I don't want to run out. Let's get them!'" he said. "I think it's the mindset of 'We're never going to leave.'"

    Departing US Troops Pack Millions Of Items In Iraq : NPR
     
  2. FreekiN

    FreekiN ELITE MEMBER

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    Check out the pictures on the website link.
     
  3. Desert Fox

    Desert Fox ELITE MEMBER

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    Almost 2 million Iraqis dead, no WMD's found, a whole country destroyed (billions dollars worth of damage done) and now they withdraw!
     
  4. True_Pakistan_Zindabad

    True_Pakistan_Zindabad BANNED

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    Hundreds of years from now, history will teach students that the US was unsuccessful in guerrilla warfare in the 20th and 21st century despite having utilized similar tactics to gain independence from the English. Their role of global cop has backfired on them and drained their resources and morale.
     
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  5. Masterchief

    Masterchief FULL MEMBER

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    and dont forget the lives of american soldiers who were martyed for the cause which itself was wrong, i know its somewhat like an utopian dream but i would like to see bush and blair dragged to courts for this action, they are war criminals who let their soldiers die for nothing
     
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  6. whocares

    whocares BANNED

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    i will also put the responsibility for all 2 million dead on bush and blair. they should've known that iraq is basically an unstable country which will end up in near civil war without a saddam like dictator.

    thats what happening now and i don't think the new government will be able to stop the violence.
     
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  7. AZADPAKISTAN2009

    AZADPAKISTAN2009 ELITE MEMBER

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    Hope for safe return , of US solidiers who indeed had concious
    and hopefully the society in Iraq will stand on its own two feet

    A wrong decision , and costly one but its positive to look at future

    At least sanctions on Iraq are over (Gulf war time)- and now future generations can live properly

    Also iraqi's do have a elecion system now which is good thing no more military dicator ship (at leats for now)

    BUt , for the thousands of displaced or ones that sufferd its sad but hope time heals the wounds
     
  8. gambit

    gambit PROFESSIONAL

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    Unlikely. We are going to build a memorial in remembrance of US soldiers died in Iraq in Baghdad. We are going to petition the new Iraqi government if we can build that memorial where Saddam's Presidential Palace used to be. There will be a 'community center' on site as well.
     
  9. banned

    banned BANNED

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    All right what did USA achieve in this war.

    1. Stable country turned into terrorist haven
    2. Million iraqis killed for nothing
    3. million disabled and more to come due to DU usage
    4. sevral generations of cripped child births
    5. Driving oil prices high to benefit few oil companies at the expence of Iraqi soverginety, integrity, future, lives and valuables?? -- Priceless

    And where are the WMD??? Iraq is now more unstable and dangerous than it was under Saddam only if he had been alive to witness it though I am no fan of Saddam.

    If the future Iraqi government seeks WMD or nuclear it will argue for every right to it due to this unjust invasion. Same applies for India, its fear may be concentrated on China temporary but deep down inside, every Indian leader has a fear of another economic invasion by europeans or american and hence they keep struggling to achieve ICBM capability, which keeping the china threat in context is not a necessity. Soon a group of people will emerge who will comprehend that Saddam in his far sightess was right in his persuit of nuclear weapons.
     
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    Last edited: Aug 5, 2010
  10. Masterchief

    Masterchief FULL MEMBER

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    building memorials is one thing friends, only true americans and fellow soldiers will remember the martyrs, one thing USA will miss most here is those brave soldiers who fought till their last drop of blood, people will miss those millions of citizens of iraq who were killed in crossfires ,and above all people will miss an independent government in iraq, no doubt the current one will dance on the tunes of uncle sam
     
  11. AZADPAKISTAN2009

    AZADPAKISTAN2009 ELITE MEMBER

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    I think , we need to look at the big picture

    a) Mr Saddam was no democratically elected leader
    b) Mr Saddam was indeed quite brutal - that we know

    Now , was US adventure trip in Iraq justified

    No, becasue - it was stable country - with stable economy , only suffering sanctions (INTERNATIONAL mess created by United Nation)

    So war happened and whole country was destabalized, oil productions stopped and US invaded

    One of the most horrible incidents of war humilation was world wide news

    a) Abu Ghuraib prison abuse lasting image
    b) Rape of iraqi girl (reported in by solider)
    c) Wistle blowing by Mr Manning (wiki leaks)

    But ... there was also good done and money invested in building some infrastructure billions invested (thou un accounted for but they were) , yes thing were being built .. by US ppl with US Tax payer's money but there was also alot of Curruption by contractors who charged 400/hr daily

    So , what can be done? Well nothing just have to let civilian gov rule and hopefully ppl in region will adapt to democratic system and make up for last 10 years


    Has the US paid the price ?
    Yep , billions wasted - joblessness, injured soliders with no benefits ,
    torn families due to war. Constant struggle to justify war where is Mr colen powel now ??? History will remember his idiotic UN speech. Loss of credibility as a nation to be looked as leaders. We saw major cracks in US civilization during this time

    Americans have paid a BIG big big price

    But , at least they (IRAQ) will have open elections now , and may be just may be no cloud of war for next 10 years

    Who won or lost is it even a debate pretty much every one lost something

    I think at the current point ... one can only hope , time heals wounds

    Lets put it this way .... be thankful to be closed to your loved ones and hope wars are avoided

    [​IMG]

    90-95% of the soliders are normally good , character folks no wonder they have mental break downs when they come home

    A friend of my brother came home , I learned from my brother that guy used to be all cheerful , and had a lively persoality when he came back he was changed man , always dressed in black , and very anti social and not like he was but luckily he was able to pull thru with friends , playing sports and mingling with ppl forgeting the past ...

    But hard to forget war what you see -

    But some don't and end up commiting suicide
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2010
  12. NWO

    NWO FULL MEMBER

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    If you look at it, most of Saddam's crime were committed in the 1980's. After the Gulf War, he didn't commit too many major crimes. It would have made far more sense to invade back in 1980's.

    As well, why not go into Africa? They are many more worse dictators there.
     
  13. Chinaownseverything

    Chinaownseverything FULL MEMBER

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    To make it even worse THE USA WERE THE ONES WHO PUT SADDAM INTO POWER

    Saddam Hussein ? United States relations - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Hussein, while only in his early 20s, became a part of a U.S. plot to get rid of Abd al-Karim Qasim. Hussein was installed in an apartment in Baghdad on al-Rashid Street directly opposite Qassim's office in Iraq's Ministry of Defense, to observe Qassim's movements. The move was done with full knowledge of the CIA, and Hussein's CIA handler was an Iraqi dentist working for CIA and Egyptian intelligence.[1]

    The assassination was set for Oct. 7, 1959, but it was completely botched; the 22-year-old Hussein lost his nerve and began firing too soon, killing Qassim's driver and only wounding Qassim in the shoulder and arm, Qassim escaped death. Hussein was shot in the leg, but escaped to Tikrit with the help of CIA and Egyptian intelligence agents. Hussein then crossed into Syria and was transferred by Egyptian intelligence agents to Beirut, the CIA paid for Hussein's apartment and put him through a brief training course, the agency then helped him get to Cairo, where he made frequent visits to the American embassy. During this time the CIA placed him in an upper-class apartment observed by CIA and Egyptian operatives
     
  14. gambit

    gambit PROFESSIONAL

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    I see you got suckered into believing the oh-so-omnipotent CIA and Saddam connection...:lol:

    Amazon.com: Saddam Hussein: The Politics of Revenge (9781582340500): Said K. Aburish: Books

    Let me know if you are truly interested in being debunked by those who knew Saddam and what exactly happened.
     
  15. Tshering22

    Tshering22 ELITE MEMBER

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    Iraq war money could have been used in the actual counter-terrorist operations taking place in Afghanistan borders with Pakistan. All the terrorists are killing civilians over here and Bush needlessly sent an army there to change one government that didn't do jack to US.

    Now the real terrorists are having jolly time while USA is in no position to fight them tooth and nail. I don't understand how can a country with $515 Billion at their disposal solely for military purposes fail. The only reasons I can think of are irrationality and obstinancy of not listening to regional players.

    Lost billions of taxpayers wealth, lost hundreds of precious soldiers, no radical good change, terrorists located elsewhere in Afghanistan borders, and now they have another older and unifinished war to end that sees no end.