Saturday, two Americans died in Iraq. Gunnery Sgt. Scott A. Koppenhafer of Mancos of Colorado was one of the fallen.
He graduated from Adams State College in 2005 with a B.S. in Business Marketing.
Koppenhafer is survived by his wife and two children.
“Our most sincere thoughts are with the family and teammates of Gunnery Sergeant Koppenhafer during this difficult time,” Capt. Kristin Tortorici with U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command said in a news release.
Annette Weston (WCTI, NEWS 12) adds:
His personal decorations include: two Bronze Star Medals with Combat Distinguishing Device, two Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals with Combat Distinguishing Device, one Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, one Humanitarian Service Medal, two Combat Action Ribbons, four Good Conduct Medals, the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and six Sea Service Deployment Ribbons.
The death of Koppenhafer is sad and tragic. It will receive attention and it should. But it wasn't the only US death. Elizabeth McLaughlin and Abby Cruz (ABC NEWS) report, "A U.S. contractor was also killed in Saturday's attack, according to a U.S. official."
That death won't receive much attention unless it turns out (a) that the contractor was a veteran of the wars in Iraq and/or Afghanistan before becoming a contractor and (b) that fact becomes public.
They are the faceless, the military contractors. They are the ones the US government uses and misuses, the ones who keep the wars going and keep them going in semi-privacy.
Last May, the Congressional Research Service noted in "Department of Defense Contractor and Troop Levels in Afghanistan and Iraq: 2007 - 2018:"
DOD ceased publiclyreporting numbers of DOD contractor personnel working in Iraq inDecember 2013,following the conclusion of the U.S. combat mission in Iraq(Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn), and the subsequent drawdown of DOD contractor personnel levels in Iraq.
In late 2014, in response in part to developing operations in the region, DOD reinitiated reporting broad estimates of DOD contractor personnel deployed in Iraq in support of Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR).
As the number of DOD contractor personnel in Iraq increased over the first six months of 2015, DOD resumed reporting exact numbers and primary mission categories of OIR contractor personnel in June 2015. In the second quarter of FY2018, DOD began reporting a combined total of contractor personnel physically located in Iraq and Syria.As of the fourth quarter of FY2018, there were 6,318 DOD contractor personnel in Iraq and Syria(see Table 3). Approximately 49% of DOD’s reported individual contractors were U.S. citizens(3,086), approximately 38% were third-country nationals(2,405); and roughly 13% were local/host-country nationals.16 As of FY2018, CENTCOM has not resumed reporting data on DOD-funded private security personnel in Iraq.
In December 2017, DOD indicated the number of U.S. Armed Forces personnel in Iraq was roughly 5,200, and indicated the number of U.S. Armed Forces personnel in Syriawas approximately 2,000.17 In December 2018, President Donald J. Trump announced that U.S. forces had defeated the Islamic State and would leave Syria; however, in February 2019, the White House indicated that several hundred U.S. troops would remain in Syria.
The Obama administration left Iraq in part because it believed that doing so would free up resources for its “rebalance” in favor of Asia and domestic priorities. Instead, renewed instability in Iraq and the civil war in Syria opened the door to ISIS, which promptly became the all-consuming problem for American national security and compelled the administration to rush thousands of soldiers back to Iraq and later Syria. If the U.S. abandons Afghanistan to chaos, this pattern is likely to repeat itself and the resulting crisis will once again dominate Washington’s foreign-policy bandwidth, to the detriment of its ability to manage other challenges, including China.
The alternative is to recognize that the U.S. doesn’t need a plan for leaving but a strategy for staying—one that carefully minimizes American, coalition and Afghan costs and casualties but accepts the necessity of a sustained and sustainable troop presence to safeguard vital U.S. interests.
We’ll never know whether Iraq’s collapse could have been averted had the Obama administration left a few thousand combat troops there in 2011. What isn’t debatable is that the U.S. would have been in a stronger position to respond when the country’s fragile politics began to fracture and could have reacted much more rapidly when ISIS appeared.
First off, let's all remember that David Petraeus ended his public service in disgrace. What did he do again? Oh, the married man was screwing a woman and sharing confidential information with her.
That is shocking.
Or rather it was in 2006 when he was f**king another woman, while in Iraq, and feeding her classified information. He was top dog in Iraq at the time and no one really cared about what was going on -- or ethics -- so we were left alone to discuss that affair. We're still the only ones who have. But it was a pattern, a long pattern, Petraeus would lure women to his bed with promises of access to information and many women -- particularly those starting out as journalists -- would go along to get along.
That's David Petraeus, never forget it. That's who he really is, a man who has to pressure women into sex and has to use whatever means possible to induce her to go to bed with him.
He's very lucky that the #MeToo movement came after his public downfall and that the press -- always desperate to spit polish Petraeus -- chose to look the other way and pretend like the affair that finally brought him down was the only one that ever happened. Because that's believable right, that he only had one affair?
Just like it's believable that he married Holly Knowlton all those years ago just for love -- and certainly not because he was a cadet at West Point and her father, Gen William Knowlton -- a four star general, was the superintendent there.
Petraeus is very lucky that his father-in-law died in 2008 but he's always been very lucky which is how he ends up making so many mistakes.
The press always looks the other way for David.
So I'm not expecting anyone to do much with his column in terms of criticism. But besides mangling the facts. Barack Obama did not refuse to offer Nouri al-Maliki "thousands" of US troops to remain in Iraq in 2011 -- he refused to offer 25,000 to 30,000 which is the number that Nouri wanted and the number Nouri argued was needed if he was to agree to let US troops stay.
Why did Nouri want US troops to stay? It goes back to why he was put in place by the US government to begin with. He had 'trust issues.' The 2006 CIA assessment found him to be highly paranoid and was thought that this paranoia would allow the US government to easily manipulate the puppet. There was nothing in his background that suggested he would be a good leader or was worthy for the post -- except for the belief that his paranoia could be used to control him.
His paranoia was unleashed on Iraq and, even in his first term, it was obvious how he hated the Iraqi people. He went after everyone -- political opponents, political rivals, Shi'ites, Sunnis, Kurds, the Yazidis, various religious minorities, no one was safe. He restarted the system of secret prisons and torture chambers and this was all known in his first term.
This was why the Iraqi people rejected him in the 2010 elections. He was defeated. He refused to step down. Joe Biden and Barack Obama refused to demand that he step down. For eight months, Nouri brought the government to a stalemate. Not only did Joe and Barack allow that, they overturned the vote of the people, via The Erbil Agreement -- and gave Nouri a second term.
It was known what he was doing.
Yes, he became worse in the second term, but he was already known for the secret prisons and torture chambers. And Joe Biden wants to president today but doesn't want to talk about his role in rejecting the will of the Iraqi people and giving thug Nouri a second term?
Nouri's second term created ISIS in Iraq.
This goes back to David's column in which he argues that if "thousands" of US troops had remained in Iraq, ISIS wouldn't have happened.
How does that work?
I know how it worked in Nouri's first term. The press -- including the two whores who were sleeping with David Petraeus while 'covering' him and the Iraq War -- portrayed it as the US military destroying terrorists. No, that's not what happened.
It was a civil war and the US government took sides.
And, by the way, that's my opinion, yes, that it was a civil war with the US using the military to take sides but it's also Joe Biden's stated opinion, on the record from an April 2008 hearing. Anyone going to ask him about that?
David is arguing, in his piece, that had "thousands" of US troops remained in Iraq that ISIS would not have risen in Iraq. He's arguing that US troops would have been used to suppress the Iraqi people yet again. They wouldn't have reigned in Nouri, they never did. But they would have eliminated his enemies -- just as they had in the 'surge.'
Does no one grasp that? Or is, yet again, David's stuck his dick into pretty much everything press wise so the press is looking the other way.
The affair that brought David down was only one in a long line of affairs. Paula Broadwell was sleeping with him in exchange for classified information. He was sleeping with Paula for good press. This time it would be a book. Earlier, during his rise, he slept around for a good article. By the time he was in Iraq, he slept with woman who could (and did) portray him as a genius.
The Myth Of Petraeus is a myth created by the press and, even with his downfall, remained myth that they didn't want to explore.