The Iraq war may be over, but don’t tell the 800 Hawaii-based troops who are being deployed there this week. The soldiers, stationed at Oahu’s Schofield Barracks, will join almost 4,000 members of Hawaii’s 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team currently carrying out “Operation New Dawn.”
Granted, thousands of U.S. forces have left Iraq and the ones still there are supposedly focused on “non-combat” duties. But five members of Stryker Brigade have been killed since September, including Sgt. David Luff, Jr., who died this week “of wounds sustained from enemy small-arms fire” during “advisory operations” in Tikrit, according to a military release.
So when will the war really be over? By the end of 2011—maybe. That’s the date the Obama Administration has set, but earlier this month Defense Secretary Robert Gates said he’d be “open to discussing” a longer stay if Iraqi forces aren’t ready to take the reins. Calls to mind the words of Aristotle: “It is more difficult to organize a peace than to win a war.”