Is the Prisoner Swap Hysteria a Sign of GOP War Withdrawal Symptoms?

The United States has been continually at war since October of 2001. In many of the succeeding years, until Dec. 31 2011, the U.S. was at war in both Iraq and and in Afghanistan.

Wars fulfill multiple functions for the U.S. elite. They justify vast expenditures that benefit the political clients of the president. They throw tax-payer money to a small group of arms manufacturers. They can revive faded fortunes. In the last decade the Republican Party, more cautious about shooting wars in the 1950s and 1960s, became the war party.

The problem for the happy warriors among the conservatives is that they can’t stop Obama from winding down America’s decade of war. They continually carp that Obama should have kept troops in Iraq past 2011, while carefully avoiding any admission that it was George W. Bush who failed to achieve a Status of Forces Agreement with the Iraqi parliament, which was unlikely to grant one to Obama, either. Without a UN authorization, and without a SOFA, U.S. forces fighting in Iraq would have been open to prosecution both abroad and in Iraq.

They are further unhappy that Obama has announced that as of January, 2017, there will be no U.S. troops in Afghanistan. For the first time in over a decade and a half, the U.S. will not be at war.

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