Earlier this week, it was announced that US troops will be reallocating from several locations in Iraq. This move has been planned for months, according to officials. The troops will be handing over the equipment to the Iraqi government as the leave.
The decision was made to completely withdraw US troops from joint bases at al-Qaim near the Syrian border, Q-West near Mosul and K-1 Air Base in Kirkuk. All three bases are aligned toward the north of Iraq, stretching across the country between Erbil and Baghdad.
This reallocation comes just after two rocket attacks in the last week, and a couple others toward the end of last year. The move, however, has been planned for months. According to several sources, the Iraqis have solid control over the aforementioned bases.
All of this is happening after the Iraqi government asked the US to leave its borders in January. US officials then stated we would not be leaving immediately, now this announcement. There are quite a few reasons being mentioned as to why we are moving troops.
One of the biggest reasons happens to be troop security. Multiple sources state the reallocating of troops makes it easier to protect them. Most of them will be moving to larger locations within the area.
Information has also been put out stating the US plans on moving Patriot batteries and additional C-RAM (counter-rocket, artillery, mortar) assets into Iraq. Partly due to the recent rocket and missile attacks in recent months. Word is the reallocated personnel would potentially help fortify those positions.
With the attacks in Iraq becoming more frequent, ensuring troop safety gets our vote. What will happen next? Will reallocating forces make a difference? Will we begin a drawdown next?
What happens if things escalate again? Is it a smart move to leave our assets to the Iraqi military and police forces that will remain at these bases?