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The U.S. presence in Iraq

August 09, 2009

Re "The right time to go," Opinion, Aug. 4

Barbara F. Walter says the U.S. will need to keep a significant number of troops in Iraq beyond the 2011 withdrawal date established by the Bush administration. I think U.S. troops will maintain their presence, but not for the reasons Walter suggests.

I have always believed the purpose of the invasion was to control the oil fields for the benefit of Western oil companies and to maintain a U.S. military foothold in the region. The massive U.S. Embassy and the huge U.S. military bases with first-run movie theaters, gyms and restaurants were built to last a long time. I think U.S. troops will continue to occupy Iraq in 2050. I predict that Prime Minister Nouri Maliki will eventually request that U.S. troops remain, and President Obama will oblige.

Jerry Wallingford

San Diego


Walter writes that studies of civil wars in many countries reveal that the presence of U.S. troops may be crucial to peace. If it's a civil war, why do we have troops there? Almost by definition, the only people fighting in a civil war are residents of the country; outsiders make it an international war.

P.J. Evans


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