President Barack Obama declared an end to the Iraq war, one of the longest and most divisive conflicts in US history. He said all US troops would be withdrawn from the country by the end of 2011.
This is a good thing. It will be interesting to see if armed conflict continues significantly without foreign troops there. Likewise whether the Iraqi troops and police will be up to the job of keeping Iraq under the rule of law.Hopefully in ten years time, Iraq will be a relatively peaceful and still democratic country.
The US military presence in Iraq stands at about 40,000. All US troops are to exit the country under a deal struck between the countries in 2008 when George W. Bush was president.
It is worth stressing that it was indeed Bush who put an end date to US troops. Obama merely moved it forward a few months.However he had the responsibility to stay committed to his timetable, which he has done.
I think Iraq has proven a lesson for the United States. It is one thing to topple a dictator. It is another to try and rebuild a country as happened post WWII with Germany and Japan. The US were too ambitious in Iraq, and getting rid of the Army and banning Baath party members from Government.
It may be the Libya “model” proves the better one. I’ve always thought that in Iraq what the US should have done is after destorying the ability of the Iraqi army to invade, then captured or killed the top 10 people in the Government, told No 11 he is now in charge and that if they don’t have fair elections within the next 24 months, Nos 11 to 20 will face the same fate as Nos 1 – 10.