With Vice President Biden in Iraq working diligently to unite a fractured government, the U.S. will be announcing the formal end to its military efforts in the country. While 50,000 troops will remain on the ground until the end of next year, Obama is set to announce today the U.S. transition into a diplomatic and assisting role in the country as part of his troop withdrawal plan. Get the full story, pictures and video below!
The success of Obama’s move will largely be reliant on any success the VP can have during his visit to Baghdad, where he aims to convince political rivals to work together to stabilize the country after the U.S. withdrawal. At the present time, an interim government is managing to keep basic services operating, but it is widely accepted that a robust new regime will be necessary to gain control of the country after the U.S. leaves.
Vice President Biden, in Iraq’s U.S. embassy, assured the public that the transition was not as precarious as it seemed.
“We’re going to be just fine. They’re going to be just fine.”
But the country’s foreign minister didn’t seem quite convinced. Hoshyer Zebari told reporters that the withdrawal could prove to be “embarrassing” for both countries, and thinks that it is a premature move based on political pressures.
“It is the fulfilment of that election pledge. But it is embarrassing for them to withdraw and still we don’t have a government in place, because all the achievements, all the sacrifices that have been made, could be in jeopardy. It is embarrassing for us also.”
In response to concerns of the impending draw-down, Tony Blinken, the VP’s top national security adviser explained that the transition would still leave a large U.S. presence in the country for the foreseeable future.
“We’re not disengaging from Iraq,” Blinken told reporters. “And even as we draw down our troops, we are ramping up our engagement across the board… The president and this administration are making good on our commitment to end the war in Iraq responsibly and to help build a stable, self-reliant and sovereign Iraq.”
What do you think of the impending U.S. withdrawal from the Middle Eastern country? With Vice President Biden in Iraq, and Obama announcing the move today, is there still time to establish an adequate government? Let me know your opinion in the comment section! For more on the story, check out the photos and video below!
Photos: www.wenn.com/Official White House Photo by David Lienemann/News Pictures, Official White House Photo by Pete Souza, PNP, Carrie Devorah