The U.S. Army’s final combat brigade crossed from Iraq into Kuwait Wednesday. Most of the 50,000 U.S. troops left in Iraq will stay there until the end of next year. Those troops will train Iraq’s security forces, which now total 660,000. U.S. troops will also provide intelligence, aircraft and other support for Iraq’s counterterrorism campaign. They’ll also protect U.S. and civilian agencies there to rebuild the country. At the same time, troops could be deployed if the Iraqi government seeks their help.
Congressman Joe Wilson serves on the House Armed Services Committee and is ranking member of the Military Personnel Subcommittee. Wilson founded the Victory in Iraq Caucus and serves as its co-director. He asserts that the mission of U.S. troops in Iraq resulted in a victory. Wilson notes that military leaders say that the remaining U.S. troops and their Iraqi allies can handle anything insurgents can throw at them.
Concerning any possible aggression from neighboring Iran, Wilson says Iraqis want strongly to protect their territory.
I believe they will resist any more effort by Iran to exert any more influence than they do. And the good news is that they have different ancestry, those of Persian ancestry and those of Arab ancestry, and they both have pride which would provide for territorial integrity.
South Carolina’s 3rd District Congressman Gresham Barrett says the troop withdrawal is progress.
Barrett says the remaining troops will pull out in due time.
CNN reports that more than 4,400 U.S. troops died during the war and 30,000 were wounded. The number of Iraqi casualties is much greater. Operation Iraqi Freedom began in March 2003.