After nearly nine years of occupying Iraq, President Barack Obama has announced the complete withdrawal of American troops by December. I know what you’re thinking – finally, right? – but if Iraq wasn’t stable enough for troops to pull out years ago, what is the difference now? Should we still have an American presence in Iraq, or is the withdrawal of troops just a political ploy by Obama to keep another campaign promise in hopes of re-election?
I believe it’s time and it’s better late than never. As students, we must understand why the Iraq war has provided more problems than solutions for our ravaged nation.
Nearly 4,400 military members have been killed overseas, while 32,000 have been severely injured since the Iraq invasion in 2003. Do we need to lose more lives while families get torn apart with a loss of a child, parent or significant other?
Let’s not forget these soldiers gave their lives for our country fighting a war fueled by vengeance.
After the terrorist attack on 9/11 the Bush Administration invaded Afghanistan, but came up empty handed. In an attempt to grab onto something productive many soldiers were redeployed to Iraq in search of weapons of mass destruction and Saddam Hussein. After Hussein’s capture in 2003, the Obama Administration killed the orignal target earlier this year: Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden.
Now that the jobs are done I don’t see a real need for troops to still be in the Middle East.
With the troops withdrawing from Iraq, the country will now have an opportunity to govern their future without the oppression of a dictator or pressure from the United States military. This is what independence is all about, right? The United States fought hard for the freedoms of the Iraqi people, now let’s allow them to fix their fragile government and make their own decisions.
With the financial crisis hitting the U.S. hard, we have to invest all resources back into our own economy.
The Iraq war cost taxpayers more than $1 trillion. According to the Congressional Budget Office we will be spending $1 billion to withdraw, but it is nominal compared to the estimated $30 billion spent from 2010 to 2011 on additional operating and personnel costs.
With the complete withdrawal from Iraq, Obama can now focus problems within our own nation. Let’s make sure troops will at least have a stable economy to come back to.
Both countries can now look forward to rebuilding their nations. Obama keeps his promise of ending the Iraq war, and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s gets rid of the American military presence and moves forward to a solid government.
After all the money and lives that were given to the war efforts in Iraq, now is the time to finally bring the troops back home.