We are slowly withdrawing from Iraq
This slipped waaayyy under the radar. I almost missed it entirely.
This was from a couple months ago.
The shift from a U.S. combat role to one focused on training and advising the Iraqi security forces was announced in April, when a joint U.S.-Iraqi statement said this transition allowed for the removal from Iraq of any remaining U.S. combat forces on a timetable to be determined later. It did not specify what combat functions the U.S. was engaged in then, nor did Biden get into such specifics on Monday.
“We’re not going to be, by the end of the year, in a combat mission,” he said.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki declined to say how many troops would remain in Iraq by year’s end.
The Iraqi prime minister made clear before his trip to Washington that he believes it’s time for the U.S. to wind that mission down.
“There is no need for any foreign combat forces on Iraqi soil,” al-Kadhimi told The Associated Press last weekend.
OK. That doesn't mean much. I remember when Obama declared an end to a combat mission in Afghanistan. In 2014. Where even the ceremony was interrupted by a Taliban attack.
So why should this be any different?
Because this item came out last month.
Head of Joint Operations Command of the Iraqi army Major General Tahsin al-Khafaji told the Iraq News Agency (INA) that the US troops have started their withdrawal in large numbers.
Al-Khafaji said that the United States has not made any requests to continue the presence of its troops in Iraq.
The commander added the US side has said it will abide by the agreements reached in the strategic dialogue and that December 31 will be the last day of the US military presence in Iraq.
He claimed that the US military cooperation with Iraq will be limited to advising missions
This is encouraging. It's something tangible.
I must admit that Biden has so far been a mildly pleasant surprise when it comes to foreign policy.
Way back at the start of 2020, the Iraqi government officially demanded that we leave.
The Trump Administration officially dared them to make us.
The winner in the election of a couple weeks ago was Shi'ite Muslim cleric Moqtada al-Sadr's party.
He opposes all foreign interference in Iraq, whether by the United States, against which he fought an insurgency after 2003, or by neighbouring Iran, which he has criticized for its close involvement in Iraqi politics.
Sadr, however, is regularly in Iran, according to officials close to him, and has called for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, where Washington maintains a force of around 2,500 in a continuing fight against Islamic State.
For those of you with longer memories, Sadr organized his followers that resisted the U.S. occupation in several bloody battles in 2004.
Meanwhile, we still have no intention of ending our illegal occupation of Syria.