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Lame stream media fails
on Iraq troop withdrawal

War in Iraq


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After troops leave,
a substantial American presence


By Jeremy B. White

Given the ceremonies marking the imminent departure of the last U.S. troops from Iraq, it would be fair to assume that America's nearly decade long entanglement with Iraq is about to come to an end.

The truth is more complicated. While a deal to maintain some American troops in the country collapsed after Iraqi politicians refused to grant the troops immunity from Iraqi law, Iraqi president Nouri al-Maliki has said he is open to negotiating a role for American troops that would likely include helping to train Iraqi security forces.

"The stability of Iraq after the withdrawal of American forces has been a major concern of both our nations," al-Maliki wrote in a Washington Post op-ed. "I believe in the capabilities of our security forces and in the necessity of U.S. assistance."

Whether or not that happens, there will still be a massive diplomatic presence and a small army of contractors to defend them. The State Department has estimated that between 16,000 and 17,000 'diplomatic' personnel will remain, supported by some 5,500 private security contractors.

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