COMMENT: “Ending the war” includes leaving at least 50,000 troops and endless contractors, of course, if this much is even upheld.
August 2, 2010
Barack Obama said the US strategy in Iraq will shift “from a military effort led by our troops to a civilian effort led by our diplomats” by the end of this month, in the first of a series of speeches trumpeting the success of his administration’s policy.
TIMELINE: Obama’s Promise to withdraw troops in Iraq by 2009
After a seven-year conflict costing US taxpayers some $700bn and the lives of more than 4,000 American troops, Obama proclaimed that the withdrawal of US forces was happening “as promised, on schedule,” fulfilling his pledge as a presidential candidate to bring the conflict in Iraq to a “responsible end”.
Oct. 27, 2007 – Obama’s Promise: Bringing the Troops Home “Will Be the First Thing I Do; You Can Take That To The Bank”
The withdrawal of American troops and the shift to a “civilian effort” will, however, likely include a build-up in contractors working for the US State Department, driving armored vehicles, flying aircraft and disposing of explosive devices, according to a report by McClatchy Newspapers.
By the end of August this year, according to Obama’s plan, the total number of American military in Iraq will have fallen to 50,000 – from a peak of 144,000 at the start of Obama’s term in January 2009. The remaining US troops are scheduled to leave Iraq by the end of 2011.