As the US Withdraws Troops from Iraq, What Are We Leaving Behind?

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George W. Bush began the latest war in Iraq, and agreement to end it by the end of this year was reached in his second term. President Obama was against the war from the start. This week, when he declared that "after nearly nine years, America's war in Iraq will be over," he did not say, "Mission accomplished." But neo-conservative Republicans say that's nothing to brag about. American commanders wanted a force of 20,000 or so to remain, and critics claim the President didn't work hard enough to make that happen. The United States will still be an important presence, with military trainers, contractors guarding the world's biggest embassy and, of course, the CIA. Will that be enough to counter the influence of Iran and maintain domestic stability?  Has Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki turned into "Saddam Hussein lite?"





Warren Olney