FAST FIVE: Biden Declares All US Combat Troops To Leave Iraq By End Of 2021
While what's designated as “combat” troops will exit, in Washingtonspeak this of course doesn't ever actually mean all troops will exit.
In strongly worded remarks issued early last week meant to deflect growing Shiite anger at the enduring US and foreign troop presence in the country, particularly after the January 2020 US assassination of IRGC Quds force general Qassem Soleimani and head of Iraq's powerful Kataib Hezbollah militia, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, PM Kadhimi had spelled out that the Americans have got to go.
There is no need for combat troops.” The US maintains relatively small presence of about 2,500 troops, and many more contractors – perhaps numbering multiple tens of thousands. Feel like I've heard this story before.https://t.co/xiqoDgJCbo – Jack Murphy (@JackMurphyRGR) July 26, 2021 The past two years have seen sporadic large-scale protests across major Iraqi cities demanding that foreign troops leave.
Meanwhile, Monday afternoon's statement out of the White House is apparently meant to seal the deal in terms of a US combat troop exit by year's end.
But whether it's been Iraq, or Afghanistan (or even Syria) over the past years, these promises and exit deadlines tend to come and go with not much changing in terms of America's presence – other than a continually unraveling security situation.