Iraq War is Over: Welcome Home, Troops

December 15, 2011

Political Theory


With virtually all American troops scheduled to be out of Iraq by the end of the year, thousands of them are coming home this month – many of them sooner than expected, to the delight of their families.

As of last week, more than 10,000 U.S. soldiers were deployed in Iraq, down from 170,000, and the number was dropping daily. Iraqi security forces, including army and police officers, are to assume full responsibility for the country’s security by the end of the year under a deal agreed to by Iraq and the United States.

The withdrawal will bring to an end the war that began in 2003 with the toppling of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and the policy decisions of the Bush administration.

U.S. President Barack Obama announced the troop withdrawal in October, cutting some units’ deployments short. His announcement followed news that negotiations to extend the deadline broke down after Iraq’s top political leaders refused to grant U.S. troops legal immunity, opening up the prospect of soldiers being tried in Iraqi courts and being subjected to Iraqi punishment.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta thanked the 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.

“Let me be clear: Iraq will be tested in the days ahead — by terrorism, and by those who would seek to divide, by economic and social issues, by the demands of democracy itself,” Mr. Panetta said. “Challenges remain, but the U.S. will be there to stand by the Iraqi people as they navigate those challenges to build a stronger and more prosperous nation.”

 Is America better off now that we have pulled out of Iraq? Will our lack of presence and security for their country end up hurting Iraq, or will they finally be able to operate as a nation?

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6 Comments on “Iraq War is Over: Welcome Home, Troops”

  1. pelarkin Says:

    I don’t think there’s really any question that America is now better off that we have pulled out of Iraq. Any time our armed forces pull out of an armed conflict, it is always a good day for America, as our citizens become safer and many people are returned to their families, where they should be. However, even though I think in our interests it is a good idea to pull out of Iraq, I am fearing the worst for Iraq in the days ahead.

    Ever since we took Saddham Hussein out of power, the government of Iraq has been inept, to say the least. Really, in my opinion, the only thing that has kept the country from plunging into more chaos than it already is in is the fact that our military has been there to keep some sort of order amongst the government and its people. However, once we leave, the relative incompetence of Iraq’s government and military forces will make it a prime target for terrorist attacks and propaganda. Terrorism is hard to stop in America, where we have billions of dollars invested in preventing it, so it has to be next to impossible to stop it in a place like Iraq, where money is incredibly hard to come by. Terrorist organizations know that Iraq’s government is weak, and their people are prone to changes in viewpoints rather easily. I think, at this point, the government of Iraq and its security forces are not enough to prevent multiple forms of terrorist attacks and attempted takeovers, and I feel that, eventually, some sort of dictatorship will probably rise in Iraq and we will be right back where we started. However, I’m not totally sure that our military being there was actually being productive at this point. We had been there for such a long time, and a government is only going to get so much better with the help of others. We were in a pickle in this situation, and there really isn’t a right choice.

  2. evanhw Says:

    Wjpetok24 does a great job posing what could be the US’s most critical question of 2012. Will the fragile democracy that cost our country over 4,500 americans remain intact in the upcoming year? Considering Iraq has been supported and rebuilt over the last nine years, I think the progress of Iraq will lie heavily on the success of 2012. This next year will leave the Iraqi government vulnerable to a resurgence of rebel forces that could be potentially waiting for the US to exit the arena. However, if they were to make it through the next year without a large amount of casualties and violence, I believe it will possible for the Iraqi nation to thrive in the next decade. I do realize that fact that it’s nearly impossible to predict what one of the most unpredictable countries will do in 2012.

    In regards to the US, I can only anticipate the best for our country when when all our troops return home. The US prides itself off the accomplishments that our military has succeeded, especially within the last century. I think the return of US soldiers will revive the patriotism that has dwindled over the last couple years. It’s exciting to finally be able to await their arrival back to their families.

  3. jps3520 Says:

    I think that we are better off not being in Iraq in that less people will die and less money will be funded toward the efforts in Iraq (I assume). There was a speech made by Martin Luther King Jr. during the Vietnam war that is pretty relevant. The speech was called “Beyond Vietnam” and in it he offered some good points. One of the most relevant to our situation, he said that we should have been using the money spent on the war to help out the problems that we had going on in America (the war on poverty). While I’m not going to speak out against the war, I don’t know all of the information, but I think that us pulling out of Iraq will help us around here. We do have many problems around here that need to be fixed, and they are more difficult to solve when we’re worried about problems elsewhere.

    Now I’m sure that first paragraph sounded really selfish. I’m not someone who chose to send troops to Iraq or to bring them home. The first paragraph was just stating that it would help us. On the Iraqi side of things, I don’t know if pulling out helped them in any real way. It is going to be a tough time for them, just like it has been for some time now. They need to elect good leaders and build up their country. If we no longer lend any aid, then I feel bad. There are problems that we have here that are pressing, and maybe we need to fix the problems we have around here before we try to help someone else. It’s like you’re in an airplane and the low cabin pressure masks drop, you need to put yours on before you help those around you. It may seem selfish to most people, but it’s the best way to help people in the long run. Maybe this should have been thought about more before we occupied Iraq in the first place.

  4. ryanjcarney Says:

    I totally agree with those above me that withdrawing out of Iraq is nothing but a good thing for the United States as it’ll preserve the lives of those troops and sends them back home. I just hope their stays are long before the government sends them back to the region -for as we know, the Pentagon and the Obama administration are making plans to prolong our occupation there beyond 2020. It’d be nice to see all the money and effort being funneled into the war and the defense industry going towards real problems at home but that’s wishful thinking.

    As for the new Iraqi government, things will definitely be hard in the days ahead. Without our military in the country to provide order and legitimacy to the new regime it’ll certainly be hard to maintain itself against the terrorism and/or rebellion that’s waiting for the American departure.

  5. jonkeren Says:

    After years of being at war, our troops can finally return home. The war with Iraq had a purpose. It’s purpose was to ultimately get rid of the powerful dictatorship that ran Iraq’s government for years. The United States brought democracy to a people in dire need of it. Hopefully after the last of the American forces depart from Iraq, the Iraqi’s themselves will continue to practice our democratic form of government. It is going to be a challenge for these people since democracy is so foreign to them and they will no longer have the Americans to guide them on the right path. I hope that the Iraqi government will not fall into the wrong hands or else almost everything America has worked for over the last decade will be for nothing.

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