Thursday, December 15, 2011

US ends mission in Iraq: An unpopular conflict comes to an uncertain end

[ via The Times of India ] 15 Dec

The United States military officially declared an end to its mission in Iraq on Thursday even as violence continues to plague the country and the Muslim world remains distrustful of American power.

In a fortified concrete courtyard at the airport in Baghdad, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta thanked more than one million American service members who have served in Iraq for "the remarkable progress" made over the past nine years but acknowledged the severe challenges that face the struggling democracy.

The muted ceremony stood in contrast to the start of the war in 2003 when an America both frightened and emboldened by the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, sent columns of tanks north from Kuwait to overthrow Saddam Hussein.



The tenor of the 45-minute farewell ceremony, officially called "Casing the Colors," was likely to sound an uncertain trumpet for a war that was started to rid Iraq of weapons of mass destruction it did not have. It now ends without the sizable, enduring American military presence for which many military officers had hoped.

Read more about the end game in full story here.

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