U.S. Troops are Pulled Out of Iraqi Cities
United States troops have been pulled out of Iraqi cities. Not a single American soldier could be spotted in Baghdad yesterday. As part of a security deal struck by President Bush, all soldiers will be completely out of Iraq by 2011. As of now there are still about 131,000 troops in Iraq, but they aren’t fighting in the urban areas anymore. Instead, the troops are busy securing the borders, keeping insurgents at bay in rural areas, and training Iraqi security forces.
The violence in Iraq has steadily decreased since 2007, leading President Obama to announce that he will accelerate the troop pull out, with a complete end to U.S. military combat role by September 2010. Iraqi police and the Iraqi army are now left alone to protect the cities, manning the checkpoints and guarding trouble areas with tanks. Experts question whether Iraqi security is ready to handle any type of insurgency, and if the violence levels begin to rise again, America will have to rethink their exit strategy. However, many are hopeful for a successful withdrawal. For example, Gen. Ray Odierno, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, said Tuesday he was hopeful, in part because Iraqis have embraced the U.S. urban withdrawal as a confidence booster. “They’re not ready for us to go yet, but they are ready for us to allow them to attempt to exercise their security responsibilities, and to me that’s very encouraging,” Odierno said.
For more information, see the article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch at: