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Ear to the Ground

What Does ‘Combat’ Mean?

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Posted on Sep 24, 2010
AP / May Alleruzzo

U.S. soldiers race across the border into Kuwait in August, part of the last combat brigade to leave Iraq. Despite the drawdown, 50,000 American troops remain in Iraq.

“Since President Barack Obama declared an end to combat operations in Iraq, U.S. troops have waged a gun battle with a suicide squad in Baghdad, dropped bombs on armed militants in Baquba and assisted Iraqi soldiers in a raid in Falluja.” Which leads us to ask, just what is a “combat operation,” anyway? —JCL

Reuters:

Since President Barack Obama declared an end to combat operations in Iraq, U.S. troops have waged a gun battle with a suicide squad in Baghdad, dropped bombs on armed militants in Baquba and assisted Iraqi soldiers in a raid in Falluja.

Obama’s announcement on August 31 has not meant the end of fighting for some of the 50,000 U.S. military personnel remaining in Iraq 7-1/2 years after the invasion that removed Saddam Hussein.

“Our rules of engagement have not changed. Iraq does remain from time to time a dangerous place, so when our soldiers are attacked they will return fire,” said Brigadier General Jeffrey Buchanan, a U.S. military spokesman.

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By gerard, September 24, 2010 at 4:44 pm Link to this comment

The key question, of course unasked, is what are the remaining forces doing to AVOID conflict? What initiatives are they able to take to cut down on the internecine warfare between Iraqis themselves?

It’s as though such initiatives don’t even exist.
This is what perpetuates wars—nobody working to remove causes of conflict, nobody figuring out how to avoid conflict and improve understanding between opposing sides.

It’s all a huge pretense of “not-knowingness.”

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