Obama says all troops will be out of Iraq by 2011

President Obama hugging military personnel.

President Obama is following through on his promise to remove troops from Iraq. CC by Lee Craker/Wikimediea Commons

Getting the troops out of Iraq was part of President Obama’s campaign platform. Creation of a plan for the withdrawal of U.S. troops started just after his election. Soon a plan was put together, and the White House has kept it on schedule. By Aug. 31, only 50,000 service personnel will remain in Iraq. All American troops will be gone by the end of 2011.

Iraq to be returned to Iraqis

The president announced that Iraqi authorities will be put in control of military operations by Aug. 31, according to The Guardian. The announcement was made as the President spoke before the Disabled American Veterans conference in Atlanta. He recognized that withdrawing troops from Iraq was included in his campaign promises. About 90,000 troops have already been withdrawn from Iraq since he took office. Tentatively, full authority over military operations will be handed to Iraqi authorities on Aug. 31, and 50,000 American troops will remain in an advisory capacity. American combat maneuvers will then cease.

Focus to shift to Afghanistan

The war in Afghanistan is still ongoing, though the Iraq war is winding down. Obama says he won’t stand for the Taliban or Al Qaeda returning to power, according to CNN. The Afghan war has been a subject of great controversy. The Rolling Stone interview with Stanly McChrystal led to the general being fired, and the Wikileaks documents release of 90,000 pages of Afghan war documents has created a great deal of outrage.

The beginning of the end; or the beginning’s end

The withdrawal from Iraq is proceeding according to plan. The conflict in Afghanistan is far from over. Afghanistan has more U.S. troops than Iraq, and there is a growing belief that the war in Afghanistan is not winnable. There is still no real end in sight for Afghanistan.

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