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December 20, 2011


chris y

Leaving, I've seen it said, about 18,000 US military personnel in Iraq who, somehow, don't appear to count. About a well supported division. Who don't matter.


The Iraqis eventually nixed that, along with a NATO legacy training mission. AFAIK, there are 150 US troops attached to the US Embassy, along with 5500 mercenaries from various places, who have no 3rd country immunity.

Ken MacLeod

The uncanny thing about the drone's eye view is that it gives you a sense of the next war watching the last one pack up and leave.

Nice - almost Ballardian, and specifically reminiscent of two moments near the end of Empire of the Sun: the one where Jim sees the flash from across the sea, and the one where he glimpses the Chinese Red soldiers.

chris y

The Iraqis eventually nixed that

Oh, good. It's a measure of how desperate the Americans were to get out before the election that they were able to.


Yet it has been widely reported that the US Embassy will have a staffing complement of 15,000-16,000 personnel. That seems like an awful lot of 'cultural attaches'....

A Different Alex

Yes, it seems that there will be "over 10,000 U.S. State Department employees throughout Iraq" with "a hired army of about 5,500 security contractors":


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