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At Fort Leavenworth, thinking about withdrawal from Iraq


Here are recent headlines about the military in Kansas:Fort Leavenworth[(Washington Post) Exit Strategies:][1] Increasingly, the Washington debate over when U.S. forces should leave is centering on what would happen once they do. The U.S. military, aware of this political battlefield, has been quietly exploring scenarios of a reduced troop presence, performing role-playing exercises and studying historical parallels. Would the Iraqi government find its way, or would the country divide along sectarian lines? Would al-Qaeda take over? Would Iran? Would U.S. security improve or deteriorate? Does the answer depend on when, how and how many U.S. troops depart? ... The Soviet Union's withdrawal from Afghanistan, which began in May 1988 after a decade of occupation, reveals other mistakes to avoid. Like the U.S. troops who arrived in Iraq in 2003, the Soviet force in Afghanistan was overwhelmingly conventional, heavy with tanks and other armored vehicles. Once Moscow made public its plans to leave, the political and security situations unraveled much faster than anticipated. "The Soviet Army actually had to fight out of certain areas," said Army Maj. Daniel Morgan, a two-tour veteran of the Iraq war who has been studying the Soviet pullout at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., with an eye toward gleaning lessons for Iraq. "As a matter of fact, they had to airlift out of Kandahar, the fighting was so bad."Fort Riley ¢ 1st Infantry Division[(Castle Argghhh! commentary) AFGHAN SOLDIERS GET LOOK AT AMERICAN WAY OF LIFE:][2] What do you do with 55 Afghanistan army and policemen after they've completed their training exercise with the U.S. Army at Fort Riley? That's easy, you take them to Kansas City's Bass Pro Shop, Wal-Mart and the local Chipotle Mexican Grill. "We gave them a taste of American culture," said Maj. Dan Palmer, plans officer for the Directorate for Cultural Influence and Counter Insurgency. ... One Afghan National Army soldier said his experience with the trip was very rewarding and he loved what he saw. "We bought items to take home as gifts," said Aziz Ahmad Azizi, an E-6 in the Afghanistan National Army. "The quality of items we're buying is much better than we can buy in our country." Azizi, like everybody on the tour, received a free hat as he entered the Bass Pro Shop. As they came through the door, they immediately stopped and gazed at the enormous facility. [1]: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/16/AR2007071601680.html?nav=hcmodule [2]: http://www.thedonovan.com/archives/2007/07/afghan_soldiers.html


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