Although I expected that some US troops would have to stay in Iraq after the deadline for combat troops removed – I certainly didn’t think it would be in the region of 30,000 or more.
Does the US have an obligation to help in the rebuilding of a decimated Iraq – the simple answer to that is a clear yes, and with the cash that goes with it. Yet I cannot see a justification for the amount that will be left there. Most, if not all, US troops should come home.
In a meeting at the White House Thursday evening, [President] Obama also told lawmakers that he plans to keep a range of 35,000 to 50,000 support troops on the ground in Iraq after combat troops are out, the officials said.
Military officials have stressed that residual, noncombat forces would focus on supplies and logistics to protect U.S. interests in the region. But senior Democrats such as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have expressed concern over such a large number of troops staying in Iraq after combat forces have left.
One source familiar with the discussion told CNN that Democratic lawmakers complained in private to the president about the remaining troops just as they have in public.
“That’s a little higher number than I expected,” Reid said Thursday before the White House meeting.