The conflict in Iraq is, at least symbolically, over for America. President Barack Obama marked the end of the conflict yesterday with a speech at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. He told troops there that they would be leaving Iraq with their “heads held high.” And he said that, for him, it is
“harder to end a war than to begin one.”
Troops Leaving Iraq
The last of the US troops will be leaving Iraq by the close of the year, as President Obama stays true to a pledge that he made as a presidential candidate. He told soldiers that
“we are leaving behind a sovereign, stable, and self-reliant Iraq, with a representative government that was elected by its people.”
During the nine years since the conflict in Iraq started, more than 1.5 million Americans have served there and there have been 4,500 deaths and 30,000 wounded. Ironically, although the plans to end the war were actually started by the Bush administration, Obama has received sharp criticism from the Republican party for his plans.
Republicans say that the withdrawal will put the security that has been put in place in jeopardy and that it will allow for more Iranian influence in Iraq.
One senator from Florida, Marco Rubio, said that, if Iraq “falls back into chaos” it could then create “prime breeding grounds for al-Qaeda.”