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Obama Announces End of Major Combat…A round-up of news and views

Obama Announces End of Major Combat...A round-up of news and views

President Obama has given formal assurances that U.S. forces in Iraq will drop to 50,000 by the end of the month – a reduction of 94,000 troops since he took office 18 months ago. The remaining troops will form a transitional force until a final U.S. withdrawal from the country by the end of 2011. This transition marks the end to the combat mission in Iraq.

Of course, many Iraqis who might have been ecstatic about the drawdown as a step toward domestic sovereignty are instead uneasy, with political tensions rising between the country’s divided factions and the insurgency still very much alive.

Here’s a brief round-up of what they’re saying in the press…my thoughts to follow, tomorrow.

“President Obama yesterday declared “a responsible end” to the Iraq war with the close of U.S. combat operations on August 31. It’s a taste of wartime success for the President, but it does not mean an end to America’s commitment to Iraq…

Read more from the Journal at:

“If you’re like many Americans, you’ve lost track of the Iraq War as it has slid from the front pages. The war in Afghanistan is the one that smolders now, the one that everyone is talking about…”

Read more from the Tribune at:,0,4780757.story

“Obama used his 20-minute speech to remind a U.S. electorate fatigued by war — no segment more so than his party’s base — that the country is on the glide path toward leaving Iraq even as it braces for years of hard fighting in Afghanistan…”

Read more from the Post at:

“Obama’s positive words about Iraq, both at West Point and Monday in Atlanta, were reminiscent of former President Bush’s talk of “mission accomplished” and implanting “democracy” in Iraq. Republican leaders are already suggesting the “Obama as Bush” response they are preparing for the president as he draws attention to the transition in Iraq…

Read more from the Christian Science Monitor at:



Reid Smith

Reid Smith has worked as a research associate specializing on U.S. policy in the Middle East and as a political speechwriter. He is currently a doctoral student and graduate associate with the University of Delaware's Department of Political Science and International Relations. He blogs and writes for The American Spectator.