Via Fox News:
As the last brigade of U.S. combat troops began to leave Iraq Thursday the Obama administration planned to double the number of private security guards it has in the country to fill the void.
President Barack Obama had imposed an end-of-the-month deadline for the pullout — and “The Last Patrol,” which included members of the 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, crossed the border into Kuwait in the early hours of Thursday local time.
Obama called it a milestone in the war, but the widely-publicized exit of the Stryker soldiers Thursday does not entirely end the fighting mission as there are still 2,600 combat troops left in Iraq.. They are expected to pull out in the next few days.
About 50,000 troops will stay in Iraq until the end of next year to train Iraqi forces and after August 31 the mission in Iraq will no longer be known as Operation Iraqi Freedom and will instead be known as Operation New Dawn.
When the last of the military troops leave at the end of 2011, the Obama administration is planning to more than double the number of private security guards it has in Iraq — up to 7,000 — The New York Times reported Wednesday, citing unnamed administration officials.
First of all: Hats OFF to all of our men and women in uniform, both the ones who have come home at long last from Iraq as well as those still serving there. In spite of fierce opposition to their efforts, the belief that they would “fail” from prominent Democrats like then-Senator-turned-candidate for President Barack Obama, your courage and strength – along with that of brave coalition forces in Iraq – got us to the point we are at today, and brings not only an added layer of honor to your records, but to those who gave their lives in Iraq for something bigger than all of us. Thank you and God bless you. Job well done.
President Bush must be so proud.
I pray a similar success will be found in Afghanistan, but I have serious doubts about the administration’s commitment to winning in that country. Feel much better about it with Petraeus at the helm, though.
And speaking of the administration, which one of them (Obama or Biden) will be thanking Bush for the success of the surge? I won’t hold my breath, because they’ve been too busy the last two years trying to paint Iraq as a win for Democrats (more here and here). That’s very audacious, considering candidate Obama’s stubborn refusal to admit that he was wrong about the surge, even after it was clear that the downturn in violence that came of it was leading to the much-needed political reconciliation process, which over time would enable more of our men and women to come home and Iraq to start on the road to independence.
Wonder if BO still thinks today that troop deaths in Iraq are “wasted deaths“?
Sorry to sound all bitter-clingy on this, but it still rankles me to no end how Obama and Biden treated the issue of the war in Iraq both as candidates and now as President and VP, how they denigrated Bush’s efforts, and insulted our troops with talk of how Democrat policies were what turned things around there. Iraq is still an uphill climb at this point, but the shape they’re in today is far, far better than what things would be like if Obama, Biden, and other anti-war Democrats had had their way. Remember this in the coming days as this administration tries to take credit for something they consistently opposed both as Senators and as candidates for the office of Commander in Chief.
Memeorandum has much more.