September 11, 2008

Sayonara, Japan

So much for their short-lived military excitement:
The Japanese government decided to finish "the mission of the Air Self-Defence Forces in Iraq by the end of this year," Komura told reporters.

The decision ends all Japanese military operations in Iraq.
It's funny that the agreements being reached with Iraq to keep forces in the country are called SFAs (Aussies use that term to mean "Sweet F*ck All", or in other words, "nothing"):
Q A couple of questions involving the President's meeting with President Talabani today. How much of his decision to order a fairly conservative troop withdrawal from Iraq was determined by the fact that the coalition of the willing will all but cease to exist next year? And just exactly how many members of the coalition do you expect to negotiate their own SFAs with Iraq?

MS. PERINO: I don't know how many, and I'll let the Iraqis, or MNFI address that. I don't know how many. But there will certainly be many countries that have already announced that they're going to be ending their operations in Iraq this year. They're basically able to do that because of the success that we've had working with them, and because of the President's decision to send in more troops and to fundamentally change our approach, in terms of protecting the population and making sure that we did not lose Baghdad.

The President's decisions about troop levels were based on the recommendations from the Department of Defense, who I'm sure took into account all of the other aspects of the conditions on the ground, including how many other coalition members would be there.

Q Meaning that we're going to have to cover for a number of other countries?

MS. PERINO: I actually think that we're able to make the -- we're able to bring back troops based on success because of the success that we've had. Other countries have already said that they were going to be scaling back operations. And as you heard President Bush say yesterday, we're very thankful for all that they've done. We knew that we were going to be in Iraq for a longer period of time. There are some countries that will continue to be there, but I don't have a list in front of me, I'll let MNFI announce it.

Q Are you suggesting we're not going to have to replace the troops that other countries withdraw?

MS. PERINO: You'd have to ask DOD. I don't think so.

Q Okay. When the President talks to President Talabani today --

MS. PERINO: I mean, I should just say that doesn't mean necessarily that they wouldn't move troops around to certain places where they think they might need them if countries pull back their troops, or if they need security training for forces. I don't know.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch...


Bukko_in_Australia said...

Do Aussies actually use that "SFA" abbreviation to mean what you say, or are you making up crap? I've never heard it. OTOH, in the doctors' charting and other medical documents, people are all the time writing abbreviations that no one else can figure out. Kinda defeats the purpose of communication, if they write something that no one can understand. If it's that obscure, unknown to anyone but you, doc, why waste the time jotting it?

You've been busy with BushOut, I see. You're like an eel, Gandhi. Write blog posts here, then on another blog, shifting day to day... It's like trying to follow the TV programming schedule for the few prime-time shows we bother to watch.

Again I ask, "Who are you writing for?" Your own venting? If it's for other people, it would be advantageous to be more predictable. Or are we supposed to get RSS feeds?

gandhi said...

Beh! I wrote you a reply earlier, Bukko, but it disappeared. So again:

I take your point. I will try to be more reader-friendly.

And the usual expression is "sweet FA", but I have seen it online as SFA several times.


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