President Obama’s national address, Aug. 31, 2010:
Tonight, I am announcing that the American combat mission in Iraq has ended.
Days after the U.S. officially ended combat operations and touted Iraq’s ability to defend itself, American troops found themselves battling heavily armed militants assaulting an Iraqi military headquarters in the center of Baghdad on Sunday. The fighting killed 12 people and wounded dozens.
It was the first exchange of fire involving U.S. troops in Baghdad since the Aug. 31 deadline for formally ending the combat mission, and it showed that American troops remaining in the country are still being drawn into the fighting.
Somewhere in the neighborhood of 50,000 US troops remain in Iraq, so I don’t know who instructed TOTUS to tell Obama to tell America that US combat operations have ended, but as long as there are troops in that volatile area, there will be combat operations.
The real challenge comes weeks and months down the line. If Iraq starts to slip back into the wrong hands, then what? Do we completely pull out all remaining troops, or send in more so the sacrifices made by others there aren’t in vain?
Joyanna Adams saw this one coming even before Obama’s speech was finished last week.