I have been paying some attention to real world events even as blogging took a break. The withdrawal of all but 150 soldiers from Iraq by the end of this year deeply troubles me.
No one who is praising President Obama wants to mention the state of the Iraqi air force. This air force is still in the fledgling state - the first of 18 F-16 Block 52 Fighting Falcons will not arrive in Iraq to defend Iraqi air space until late 2012 or perhaps not until 2013. One full year after the American pullout. If that is not abandonment of an ally and a responsibility than I do not know what is.
This UPI article is pretty depressing in the scope of how unilateral US pull out is leaving Iraq naked to foreign aggression - no real air defense and no radars until the middle of next year. And Iran to the east and Turkey to the north which are the greatest threats; Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Kuwait have no desires to conquer Iraq.
To borrow a phrase from Star Wars, "I have a bad feeling about this." Especially when Maj Gen. Buchanan is grasping for straws to give positive spin. Eighteen planes is "robust" when before there are no jet fighters in the Iraqi air force. But when compared to the 40 F/A-18 Hornets of tiny Kuwait or Saudi Arabia which now flies American build F-15 Eagles and Panavia Tornados and has on order 72 Eurofighters and 72 Rafaels, 18 airplanes is a joke. Which also sums up President Obama's 'smart' diplomacy.