The Corner

Some Perspective on the End of ‘Combat’ Operations in Iraq

Last night I repeated the Washington Post in noting that the final combat unit — 4th Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division — was leaving Baghdad, formally ending Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Today a civilian with the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine (TRADOC) Command e-mails me to clarify:

The Army has three types of brigade combat teams (BCTs): Stryker, Infantry, and Heavy.

There will be five to six security assistance force brigades left in Iraq after 1 Sept. The only difference between a security assistance force brigade and a BCT is the addition of roughly 40 senior officers and noncommissioned officers who are there to help train Iraqi security forces. These 40 individuals draw upon the resources of the BCT to which they are assigned for additional instructors, demonstration troops, and security. These security assistance force brigades have the same combat capabilities as their base BCT structure. So saving that the final U.S. combat brigade leaves Baghdad is factually incorrect.

Duly noted. The most trying and bloodiest parts of the Iraq War are, we hope, behind us. But our involvement there is hardly over, not with 50,000 Americans still on the ground.

Daniel Foster — Daniel Foster has been news editor of National Review Online since 2009, and was a web site editor until 2012. His work has appeared in The American Spectator, The American ...

Most Popular

U.S.

The Gun-Control Debate Could Break America

Last night, the nation witnessed what looked a lot like an extended version of the famous “two minutes hate” from George Orwell’s novel 1984. During a CNN town hall on gun control, a furious crowd of Americans jeered at two conservatives, Marco Rubio and Dana Loesch, who stood in defense of the Second ... Read More
Religion

Billy Graham: Neither Prophet nor Theologian

Asked in 1972 if he believed in miracles, Billy Graham answered: Yes, Jesus performed some and there are many "miracles around us today, including television and airplanes." Graham was no theologian. Neither was he a prophet. Jesus said "a prophet hath no honor in his own country." Prophets take adversarial ... Read More
Film & TV

Why We Can’t Have Wakanda

SPOILERS AHEAD Black Panther is a really good movie that lives up to the hype in just about every way. Surely someone at Marvel Studios had an early doubt, reading the script and thinking: “Wait, we’re going to have hundreds of African warriors in brightly colored tribal garb, using ancient weapons, ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More