Obama playing politics with troop withdrawls

When the president makes a big deal about Iraq troop reductions – including a change to place more forces in Afghanistan – but quietly sends another brigade to Iraq to replace troops scheduled to go to Iraq, what do we call that?

You’ll have to spend a few minute to absorb the details, but the Mudville Gazette has been on top of everything, putting all of the news in order.

During the last quarter of 2008, brigades were already being drawn from Iraq as the situation became more stable. As a matter of fact, American units were leaving Iraq early and some forces scheduled to replace troops leaving Iraq were routed to Afghanistan instead.

Did not hear much about that in late 2008 did you?

On Feb. 18, the administration announced that 17,000 troops were being redirected from Iraq to Afghanistan, and of course, Americans liked the idea.

A new national poll indicates that a majority of Americans support President Barack Obama’s plan to send 17,000 more U.S. troops to the war in Afghanistan.

And the survey, conducted by CNN and the Opinion Research Corp., suggests that half of all Americans think the United States is winning the war in Iraq, the highest percentage since that question was first asked in a CNN poll in 2004.

The survey’s Thursday release comes one day before Obama is expected to travel to Camp Lejeune in North Carolina to announce he’ll withdraw most combat troops from Iraq within 19 months.

Obama visited Marines at Camp Lejeune and announced the plan to have combat troops out of Iraq by August 2010.  Of course, General Petraeus announced the plan to draw down troops back in 2007.

Not announced with fanfare, was a Stryker Brigade headed to Iraq to replace one that left, even though the original brigade scheduled to replace the brigade leaving Iraq was redirected to Afghanistan. Got that?

ABC News has also learned that Gen. Odierno will receive a Stryker Brigade to replace the one diverted to Afghanistan just a week ago.  That means that he will continue to maintain the current level of two Stryker brigades in Iraq.  The light armored vehicles are favored by military commanders for their mobility as a quick reaction force while providing greater protection for the troops.

Get this, the brigade redirected went through more than 10 months of training specific to a mission in Iraq. As Mudville notes, its great that brigades that are no longer needed somewhere would be redirected to where they are needed, but why make a big deal out of it and a week later just substitute another brigade?

Politics. Obama is now in constant campaign mode.

Hat tip to Blackfive for getting me going on this post.

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