By Pepe Escobar
"....Although Thursday's poignant ceremony marked the official end of the war, the Pentagon, just in case, still has two bases in Iraq and roughly 4,000 troops, including several hundred who attended the ceremony. At the height of the war in 2007, during the surge of General David Petraeus, the occupation maintained a sprawling 505 bases and more than 170,000 troops.
According to military officials, the remaining diehards are still being shown Iraqi love on a daily basis, mainly by strategically placed improvised explosive devices set against convoys heading south through Iraq to bases in Kuwait.
Even after the last two bases are closed and the final American soldiers go home to certified unemployment by December 31, under rules of a shady agreement with the government in Baghdad, a few hundred military personnel and a sprinkle of spooks and mercenaries will remain, working within the larger-than-the-Vatican American Embassy as part of an Office of Security Cooperation to assist in extremely profitable weapons deals.
But negotiations could resume next year on whether additional American soldiers, spooks and mercenaries can return to further profit from the action...."