As Iraqi War Ends, Contractors Take the Reins

It was back in August 2010 when a U.S. military convoy crossed the Kuwait-Iraq border, signifying the end of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and the beginning of Operation New Dawn.

It marked a switch in U.S. operations in Iraq, shifting the focus from combat totraining. It was also then that President Barack Obama declared all U.S. troops would be removed from Iraq by the end of 2011—in line with 2008 bilateral agreements signed by the Bush administration.

That statement is now being fulfilled. On Oct. 22, Obama announced that the more than 39,000 U.S. troops in Iraq will be “home for the holidays,” and “After nearly nine years, America’s war in Iraq will be over.”

There was a lot of back-and-forth between U.S. and Iraqi officials regarding U.S. troops staying to trainIraqi forces. At one point, it looked like tens of thousands would stay to help train.

Things went sour, however, and it is unlikely many U.S. troops will be conducting trainings. The United States demanded that all remaining troops be granted immunity from prosecution, yet the Iraqi government refused to grant this.

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(Image courtesy of the U.S. Army)