No, the U.S. is not leaving IraqThousands of armed U.S. private contractors will be based in the country, and the potential for violence is real
BY JUSTIN ELLIOTT
Dec. 19, 2011
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In a speech at Fort Bragg, N.C., Wednesday, President Obama declared that the war in Iraq is over.
“I've come to speak to you about the end of the war in Iraq,” he told gathered troops. “Over the last few months, the final work of leaving Iraq has been done. Dozens of bases with American names that housed thousands of American troops have been closed down or turned over to the Iraqis. Thousands of tons of equipment have been packed up and shipped out. Tomorrow, the colors of United States Forces-Iraq — the colors you fought under — will be formally cased in a ceremony in Baghdad.”
All the specifics were true. But what about Obama’s claim that the war has come to a end?
The truth is more complicated. It turns out the Obama administration is leaving behind a huge contingent from the State Department along with thousands of armed private contractors. The possibility for violence between Americans and Iraqis is very real.