United States combat operations in Iraq will end on the 31st of August 2010 but 50,000 troops will remain to help stabilise the country. President Obama made the announcement in a speech to Marines.
The military now has a date in which to plan an orderly pull out. One soldier said:
“ He plans to meet those goals and those dates and that is exciting to know that he is not just throwing a plan out without having a date.”Its a move that has won the support of Obama’s presidential election opponent, John McCain. “ Based on conditions on the ground. I am cautiously optimistic that the plan that the president has laid out can lead to success,” he said. The decision has angered Democrats unhappy at the number of military personnel that are to remain in Iraq. Some believe the Iraqis will still see the Americans as an enduring force of occupation.