President Obama honored thousands of troops who have served in Iraq over the years following the invasion after 9/11. During a ceremony at Fort Bliss Texas, President Obama told troops “Iraq has an opportunity to create a better future for itself, and the U.S. is more secure” because of that mission.” On Tuesday, the United States officially declared the end of combat missions in Iraq.
Over the course of the last seven years, the number of troops in Iraq has fluctuated. The peak of US troops deployed to the region once peaked at almost 170,000. Currently there are still around 50,000 troops assigned to missions within the region.
The Prime Minister of Iraq, Nour al-Maliki has said, “the departure of American troops leaves his country independent and equal to the United States”. He also passed his confidence in their security forces on to the Iraqi people. Regardless to whether all US troops are back on American soil, the degree to which the influence of the United States will still be evident in Middle Eastern Country.
Remaining troops will continue supporting the Iraqi forces, but will no longer be allowed to participate in active combat.
The Prime Minister’s optimism is to be expected. After the overthrowing of Sadaam Hussein, the Iraq government was toppled. The United States has worked diligently with newly elected officials within Iraq to encourage an independently stabilized government.
During the last seven years of troop occupation in Iraq, nearly 4,500 soldiers were killed and 34,000 injured. The count for Iraqi civilians injured or killed remains countless.