San Francisco (Obama.net)- President Barack Obama made it clear that by the end of August 2010, the number of American troops in the state of Iraq would be decreased to only 50,000. In addition, President Obama said that the remaining soldiers would have the duty of training the Iraqi army and police in order to make the Middle Eastern state more self-serving and stable.
A big step in the direction of completing this goal came Saturday. The United States military formally gave control of the War in Iraq to Iraqi officials, thus moving closer to the war coming to an end. Currently, there are 64,000 American troops in Iraq. 14,000 are to be removed in the coming weeks.
To signify this, America’s Fourth Brigade of the Second Infantry Division, which was the very last combat force of the United States in Iraq, hand over control to Iraq’s Sixth Army Division.
Only six brigades will be in Iraq after August 31st to back up Iraq’s military and police forces.
Some have been arguing that with the rise in violence in Iraq that this is a bad time for the United States to pull out of Iraq. However, General Raymond Odierno says that the Iraqi military and police are more prepared than ever to deal with the problems.
Odierno expressed that “we’re still very committed to Iraq. We’re still going to have 50,000 troops on the ground for a significant period of time to continue to help them build that confidence.”
Odierno said that the objectives in Iraq are not complete but that “we’re set up now to finish the mission here,” and that “there is still work that has to be done here by those that are to follow me.”
Obama is working hard to finish a job in Iraq that former President Bush started with some positive goals. As Odierno said of Iraq, “they were under this tyranny for a very, very long time. I believe they want to move forward, they want a new life. They suffered an awful lot over the last seven years for a lot of different reasons. I think we have to remember we owe them to try to get them a way forward for what they have endured.”