So says the president:
President Obama outlined the changing U.S. role in Iraq on Monday to an organization of disabled veterans, saying that beginning next month the more-than-seven-year war effort will change from a primarily military enterprise to a diplomatic one.
“The hard truth is we have not seen the end of American sacrifice in Iraq,” Obama told the Disabled American Veterans group in a speech in Atlanta. “But make no mistake, our commitment in Iraq is changing–from a military effort led by our troops to a civilian effort led by our diplomats. And as we mark the end of America’s combat mission in Iraq, a grateful America must pay tribute to all who served there.”
His remarks began a month-long effort by the White House designed to remind American voters that Obama campaigned on a pledge to wind down the Iraq war and that he is carrying out those plans largely on schedule.
The U.S. combat mission will end in Iraq at the end of the month, a milestone that comes after a steady troop drawdown since Obama took office.
Some 50,000 U.S. troops are scheduled to remain in Iraq by the end of the month, the deadline Obama had set for the end of the U.S. combat mission. That means more than 90,000 U.S. soldiers and Marines have left Iraq since his inauguration.
But Iraq remains a fragile nation, and its political leadership has warned of a potential power vacuum as U.S. forces leave.
So what do you think will happen next?