No matter who wins election, our troops will be in Iraq “for years”

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The United States will not likely launch another regime-changing war “anytime soon,” but American troops will remain in Iraq and Afghanistan for years, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Monday.

Robert Gates says U.S. troops in Iraq will serve in advisory or counterterrorism capacities “for years to come.” Failure in either nation “would be a disastrous blow to our credibility, both among our friends and allies and among potential adversaries,” Gates said…

Gates said not to expect troops to leave Iraq after the upcoming U.S. election.

No matter who is elected president in November,” he said, “there will continue to be some kind of American advisory and counterterrorism effort in Iraq for years to come.”

To combat…evolving threats, the U.S. military will need more than expensive high-tech weapons. It must adapt to “a blended, high-low mix of adversaries and types of conflict.”

“What all these potential adversaries have in common — from terrorist cells to rogue nations to rising powers — is that they have learned over time that it is not wise to confront the United States directly on conventional military terms,” he said.

What potential adversaries have learned is that United States foreign policy hasn’t altered or improved since the earliest days of the Cold War. The only real winners over time were American corporations rooted in the military-industrial complex that President Eisenhower spoke so eloquently about.

Gates doesn’t plan on learning better. His pension, consulting and lobbying career after Pentagon daze is guaranteed.

Though I hope American voters will push the worst of the warhawks out of office, my native cynicism tells me not to rely on our political misleaders for much. And Gates for even less.

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