Thursday, August 19, 2010

Cutting and running

After seven long years, the last US combat brigade has left Iraq:

The 4th Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division began crossing by land into Kuwait in the early hours of Thursday, said a spokesman.

The US combat mission in Iraq is scheduled to end on 31 August.

But the Pentagon has not confirmed that the move by the 40,000 Stryker Brigade troops marks an early end to combat operations.

Most of the troops drove out of Iraq in a convoy of armoured vehicles, say reports.

The journey along potentially hostile desert roads had been carefully planned for weeks.

Some of the brigade remained behind to complete logistical and administrative tasks but would leave the country by air later in the day, the Associated Press reported.

But this isn't quite the end - there's still 56,000 US soldiers in Iraq "to advise Iraqi forces and protect US interests" - that is, to keep the place subjugated and ensure it remains a US client-state. The war won't truly be over until the last one of those occupying soldiers packs up and leaves, taking his American flag (and his veto on Iraqi democracy) with him.