We’ll be out of Iraq by Christmas. So says the president. The earlier plan was to withdraw nearly all of the troops but to leave behind a contingent to help keep the peace. But the Iraqi government did not agree to that. So the only American troops to remain in Iraq will be couple hundred Marines to guard the embassy and some trainers, something lots of countries have. It sounds like, after nine years, the war will really be over.
From the Washington Post:
President Obama will withdraw all U.S. forces from Iraq by the end of the year, ending a long war that deeply divided the country over its origins and the American lives it consumed.
In a Friday morning video conference, Obama and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki agreed to a complete U.S. military departure that will fulfill a promise important to Obama’s reelection effort. The decision drew sharp criticism from his Republican rivals, as well as expressions of relieved support from those who believe it is time for the United States to conclude a war Obama once called “dumb.”
Speaking from the White House, President Obama says, “After nearly nine years, America’s war in Iraq will be over.”
Speaking from the White House, President Obama says, “After nearly nine years, America’s war in Iraq will be over.”For months, U.S. and Iraqi officials had been negotiating the terms of an accord that would have kept several thousand U.S. troops in Iraq for special operations and training beyond the year-end deadline set by the George W. Bush administration.
But Obama and Maliki, who have never developed much personal chemistry, failed to reach agreement on the legal status of U.S. troops who would stay in Iraq beyond Dec. 31. As a result, only a contingent of fewer than 200 Marines assigned to help protect the large U.S. Embassy compound in Baghdad will remain, along with a small number of other personnel to provide training related to new military sales and other tasks.
“The rest of our troops in Iraq will come home,” Obama said Friday at the White House, adding that they will “be home for the holidays.”
Will we have a big ticker-tape celebration to welcome our troops home and celebrate our victory? Or is this another Vietnam moment? Will this boost President Obama’s popularity? What do you think will happen in Iraq once we’re gone?