Filed under: Foreign Policy, Iraq, Military, National Security | Tags: 4th Stryker Brigade, Leaving Iraq, Operation Iraqi Freedom
The “final combat unit”, the 4th Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division — is leaving Baghdad, and formally ending Operation Iraqi Freedom.
There will be 50,000 troops remaining to provide security assistance and training. They still have the same combat capabilities. Nevertheless, we can say a heartfelt thanks to the 4th Stryker Brigade, and welcome home.
Remember the pictures of proud Iraqi’s holding up their purple fingers after the first election, on January 30, 2005, after the removal of Saddam Hussein? Would there be an uprising of dissidents in Iran if it were not for the example of the freedom of the Iraqis next door? Free elections in Iraq were like an earthquake in the countries of the Middle East.
The country is in a much better place today than any reasonable observer could hope. The country has a future, and it rests in their hands what the people will make of it. The world is well rid of one its most brutal and dangerous thugs in Saddam Hussein. Freedom isn’t easy. How long will troops need to remain there? There is no forecasting the future. Freedom may lose its momentum. Iraq has yet to form a government. Iraq has dangerous neighbors who are not enthusiastic about a free people disrupting the neighborhood.
The senior Iraqi general has just made a statement that he would like American forces to remain in the country until 2020. There is plenty of evidence of Iran’s continuing interference in Iraq. Obama, with his deadlines for withdrawal, and demands for again hollowing out the Military, seems to offer a future designed to please the peaceniks of the far-left who despise the military and always believe in a peaceful and unprepared America, until the next crisis strikes and it is too late.