Wednesday, September 1, 2010


"The last Marines are out of Vietnam," said Richard Nixon, square-facedly, as he touted his "Vietnamization" strategy. At the time, my base in Danang was crawling with Marines. I know; I was there.

The hedge? The guys I saw, and treated, were stationed in the Philippines, in Vietnam TDY. Temporary duty. Not really there, because their home base was a thousand miles away. (Wow. I just took a wild guess. But look!) Magic. Poof. No more Marines.

Makes me wonder, really, what's going on in Iraq, now that "all combat troops" have left. It's true the number is down by 100,000 from its peak, and that's good (except who knows how many "contractors" remain?) But I wonder what the definition of "combat troops" has become.

Turns out, I'm not the only one.

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