I've lived through too many wars, I guess. When we fought World War II, we left troops in Japan and Germany after the war and still have bases there and in Europe. After the Korean conflict, where we were supposedly part of a United Nations effort, we left troops in South Korea and they are still there.
When we left Vietnam, we got out of there without leaving any troops at all.
All of these countries are now at peace and doing well enough on their own, with or without our troops.
Now we are in Iraq, for misguided reasons, and the argument seems to be how many troops to leave there to maintain Iraq's peace and stability. Bill Richardson is the only major candidate saying we should withdraw ALL troops from Iraq and let a Muslim peace keeping force maintain the peace.
He's right! If we even hint at leaving troops there, we will be there for at least 50 years. What a complete waste of lives and money! We should never have been there in the first place and now we are obligating ourselves for generations. Why? Is it connected to the oil companies and influence on how the oil is distributed? We haven't stepped into any African countries to quell the dictators – they have no oil.
I'm disappointed in all the other candidates, Republican and Democrats, for not even considering removing all our troops. When we escaped Vietnam, we were sure that the whole country would fall apart under the evils of communism, maybe even fall under the reign of evil Red China. Now we are trading with Vietnam and China and don't seem so worried about their evil empires. Vietnam worked out their own problems the way the Vietnamese people wanted to work them out (without our guidance and expertise). Iraq could do the same thing. They have their problems to solve their own way. Their way is not our way, but it will work for them. We may not be able to control them the way we want, but they will have control of their own country and that's the way it should be.
Check out this man from New Mexico, Bill Richardson. He has some sound ideas and he seems to be a very practical guy (a real change from what we've had).