by David Phinney
Sunday June 16th 2019

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A U.S. Force of 300,000 to 360,000 Supporting the Iraq War?

Writer Don Monkerud adds up the numbers of US troops and contractors in Iraq for tompaine.org:
+ First he takes the high estimate of 120,000 contractors from the Associated Press.
+ Then adds the currently reported total U.S. military in Iraq at 145,000.
+ Plus another 20,000 for President Bush’s surge strategy.
THAT ADDS UP TO: 285,000.
THEN THERE’S THE UNCOUNTED: John Pike with globalsecurity.org estimates another 30,000 are “in the theater” providing Operation Iraqi Freedom support. The Army and Marines have another 10,000 to 20,000 in Kuwait, and a nearby Air Force wing bombing group has 5,000. Current naval exercises in the Persian Gulf, which represents a show of force against Iran, include 10,000 U.S. personnel, the carrier groups Eisenhower and the Stennis, and 15 warships.
THOSE ADD UP TO: 65,000.
THE TOTAL SUM? 350,000. This doesn’t count the more than 5,000 British combat troops and naval personnel — down from a high of 40,000 during the initial invasion — or the remaining troops from the diminished “Coalition of the Willing,” such as Armenia, Estonia, Moldavia and Latvia.
FUZZY MATH? It’s hard to say given the Pentagon’s continuing reluctance to add up the contractors on the battlefield and in support of the US military or disclose actual troop numbers. But John Pike, a frequent consultant to broadcast network news programs, is usually is in the ballpark. Pike’s operation, globalsecurity.org, is one of the best resources on all things military.
Monkerud’s op/ed in tompaine.org concludes:

Manipulated figures and private military contractors provide the Bush Administration with political cover to escape public scrutiny and keep injuries, deaths and secret operations out of the public eye. A more accurate and honest view of participation in the Iraqi occupation by the government could give Americans more reason to oppose the waste of lives and resources on this ill-conceived, poorly planned, and disastrous venture.

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2 Responses to “A U.S. Force of 300,000 to 360,000 Supporting the Iraq War?

  1. Bambang says:

    Exactly, Mrs. E. They are so concerned about the exsttmiers saying mean things (like those people will make a difference in the election) about them if they fulfill the duties of their office to provide oversight to this government run amuck. They need to do something immediately, not in 2009. Yes, I want to know that the next Democratic candidate for any office is against the war in Iraq, will work for an immediate end to American presence in Iraq, will and not allow incursion into Iran. But it is more important that members of Congress due their job and not allow 3 or 6 months more to see if more of the same will work . That’s irresponsible, stupid and immoral.I would love to know what is going through Sen. Levin’s brain right now. I am shocked that he dissed Reid and supported Lieberman. Note to all Democrats Lieberman is not a Democrat, hes from the Leiberman Egotistical Party.

  2. Berenice says:

    I don’t see the Democrats as whining so much as still trynig to treat the republicans across the aisle with respect as rational, reasonable, logical beings. Clearly this isn’t getting the country anywhere. The republicans are still slavishly loyal to their party not the welfare of the nation. Time to wake up and deal with irrational people the only way they should. Ignore them and stop them from getting in the way of stopping this war. Prevent them from bringing their bills and amendments to the floor. Control the agenda. This includes the deluded DLC Democrats who vote with the delusional republicans. They need to hold their members on these key votes to end the war and stop Cheney and Bush. What on earth anyone in Congress thinks they are gaining but supporting Bush is beyond stupid. Shove the polls up their noses and get them a clue. Reid and Pelosi need to have a back to God talk with these dumber than dirt Democrats. And for the the love of God, stop coddling Lieberman. Hang him out to dry.There is no middle point on ending the war. A compromise won’t do anything except endanger troops. It is an all or nothing proposition. You can’t reduce the number of troops because that will increase the danger to the remaining. We need to totally pull out and have UN peacekeeping troops move in. International diplomacy with UN support must help Iraq restore a functioning government. The Bush administration is incapable of doing anything constructive. They have decimated our military. They are planning to attack Iran (I can’t fathom with what and who) . Congress has to stop them.

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