In Iraq, American military leaders marked the end of the combat mission with a ceremony to mark a change of command for the 50,000 American troops still in the country. Vice President Biden and Defense Secretary Robert Gates were present as the troops' roles changed to "advising and assisting" Iraqis in controlling their own peace and security.
Iraqi military leaders said they are prepared to take the lead on security, and they have already been tested as the number of terrorist attacks rose in recent months. But, civilian deaths actually dropped in August, according to new data from the health ministry.
Some Iraqis on the streets of Baghdad told the NewsHour they're afraid of what lies ahead for their country. One man said he feared Iran would move in if the Americans withdrew completely, and another said he doesn't think now is the right time for American troops to draw back.
"Our men and women in uniform have accomplished something really quite
extraordinary here. How it all weighs in the balance over time I think
remains to be seen." U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates
"Iraq is a country without government and sovereignty. It is now an
easy morsel that any state can occupy. And, if the American troops
withdraw, Iran will enter." - Khalid Ibrahim, Iraqi citizen
"Our combat mission is ending, but our commitment to Iraq's future is
not. This new approach reflects our long-term partnership with Iraq,
one based upon mutual interests and mutual respect." - President
1. Where is Iraq?
2. What is combat?
3. What challenges has Iraq faced since the U.S. invaded in 2003?
1. Based on what you saw in this video and what you've heard in the
news, do you think pulling back from Iraq right now is a good idea?
Why or why not?
2. Imagine you were living in Iraq. How do you think you would feel
about U.S. combat forces' exit? Why?
3. Why do you think President Obama decided to make a speech to the
nation about the end of combat operations in Iraq? Why do you think
Vice President Biden and Defense Secretary Gates traveled there to
mark the troop transition?
U.S. Combat Troops Leave Iraq:
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Iraqis, U.S. Military Negotiate Future of American Troop Presence :