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On Leaving Iraq

Some folks at the New York Times seem to think this is a  reason for celebration, via Doug Mataconis, Otside the Beltway [1]:

BAGHDAD — The last convoy of American troops to leave Iraq [2] drove into Kuwait on Sunday morning, marking the end of the nearly nine-year war.

The convoy’s departure, which included about 110 vehicles and 500 soldiers, came three days after the American military folded its flag in a muted ceremony [3] here to celebrate the end of its mission.

Call me old-fashioned, or just plain cynical, but as a veteran with an interest in military history, victory has not been defined by which side got to issue the first press release proclaiming victory.    After all Baghdad Bob will be remembered as a buffoon and a liar.    No the traditional claim  of military victory has been the last side left standing on or over the battlefield.

Reax,Mataconis  :

So, after 3,196 days, and 4,484 soldiers’  lives (plus 318 deaths among other coalition members), it’s finally over. I shared my thoughts on the end of the Iraq War late last week. [4]

In contrast the United States Army lost nineteen thousand in the Battle of the Bulge [5]. However, after the battle Germany was spent.   The Battle of the Bulge was victory for American forces of arms.   It is an open question who will secure victory in the battle for Iraq.