Last U.S. Combat Troops Pull Out of Iraq

U.S. soldiers in IraqAs of September 1, U.S. combat operations in Iraq are officially over. Seven and a half years after American combat forces entered the country, the number of U.S. troops has been reduced to 50,000. The final U.S. combat brigade rolled out on August 19, taking the road to Kuwait. Some 90,000–100,000 U.S. soldiers had already been redeployed from Iraq over the past year and a half. With violence in Iraq still occurring, the pullout was not just among the biggest logistical challenges the U.S. military has ever faced, but a dangerous one as well.

U.S. troops will remain to advise and assist Iraqi police and soldiers in Operation New Dawn. A State Department spokesperson summed up the shift in U.S. involvement: “We are ending the war . . . but we are not ending our work in Iraq. We have a long-term commitment to Iraq.” According to the State of Forces Agreement between the United States and the government of Iraq, U.S. troops are not permitted to launch combat operations unless asked to do so by the Iraqi authorities. A full withdrawal is planned for December 31, 2011, although some observers expect that deadline to be renegotiated if Iraqi forces are not ready.

More than 2 million pieces of military equipment—tanks, armored troop carriers, trucks—have been driven or hauled in convoys through the desert, mostly at night, to Kuwait, Iraq’s neighbor to the south where U.S. forces staged the invasion of Iraq in early 2003. Millions of dollars’ worth of surplus equipment has been handed over to Iraqi security forces, who now have full responsibility to battle any insurgents who remain.

Related Links

  • Operation Iraqi Freedom Ends as Last Combat Soldiers Leave Baghdad
    This article gives an account of the pullout of the last brigade of U.S. combat troops from Iraq, the logistical challenges involved; and the future of American involvement; includes a photo gallery.
    (Source: Washington Post, August 19, 2010)
  • Last US Combat Brigade Exits Iraq
    This article covers the significant milestone of the final brigade of U.S. combat troops pulling out of Iraq; includes video footage as well as a 2003–2010 time line of U.S. troop strength.
    (Source: BBC News, August 19, 2010)
  • Operation New Dawn
    This is the official Web site of the United States Forces–Iraq; includes press releases and briefings, facts about the “New Face of Iraq,” photos and video, and various stories about American soldiers, covering topics such as the “symbolic exit” of the last U.S. combat brigade and the shifting mission for those U.S. troops who remain.
    (Source: USF-I Web site; accessed September 1, 2010)
  • Last U.S. Combat Convoy Has Left Iraq
    This article covers the major milestone in the drawdown of U.S. forces in Iraq, a stage in the Obama administration’s plan to conclude the active American role in the country.
    (Source: CNN, August 19, 2010)


  1. nina says:

    why are we pulling out?????? have people forgotten 9/11.. cause i know i havent and the thousands of families who lost loved ones didnt!!!!!!

  2. nina says:

    this is absoltely INSANE..

  3. zach says:

    they’re never going to pull all the troops out of iraq obama promises that he will pull all the troops out of iraq.But he’s never going to besides we are in a money problem in United States

    • Akash says:

      or maybe because quite lralitley, it was the worst week yet for US Soldiers in 2008.Meh, anyone can complain about the press, but as long as people like you keep getting your information from them, they’ll keep going strong. If it bothers you, watch Fox News or make your own news agency.and who s gonna help me kill my husband now ?! don’t go, pleeaaaseee !!! bring your lovers for help too

  4. Jeff says:

    All we need to know is that our soldiers are alright. We can’t judge their plans, everytime they have an idea it usally works, dosen’t it?

  5. i like cheese says:

    hes wright there never going to pull out all the troops

  6. dude says:

    calm down, nina, i understand, though

  7. RvD says:

    Listen they will still keep their eyes open on the task at hand, but Nina took it too far not all of the citizens there were part of the attacks on the United States. If so then they should hate you too because you must have been part of the INVASION on their land to find and kill only the AL KAIDA!

    • MAx says:

      Leaving an implanted US gnmernveot thousands of troops in Iraq is tantamount to allowing the US to monitor oil deliveries on new contracts to force Iraq to pay their former debts before invasion pay for the entire war in oil which provides a way to rob Iraq legally. It’s remotely controlling Iraq without being there much having destroyed as many insurgents is a possible. A full force troop return if things get out of control is a possibility! Voila! Oil take over in 9 years. Nice grab!

      • Nid says:

        When I was in Baghdad two and a half years ago, it was unsafe for an American to go anrhweye near Haifa Street, even though it is a key shopping district. Those damned insurgents! Denying Americans our religious duty of shopping!So, for the past two and a half years, the level of violence has remained so high we need an esc sorry, SURGE to stop it. Who was in charge of our failed efforts during all of that time? Should we belive any tales of success they might now tell us? Why? It apparently is safe enough now for the Iraqi leadership to make a staged appearance, at least. I hope to learn soon that ordinary people–even American reporters–can travel about the city with a modicum of safety. So, staged visits by Iraqi leaders equate to having Americans walking around? I guess that means the Iraqi government is most certainly definitely positively absolutely not staged by Americans, right?

  8. boy says:

    yes it is insane people need help

  9. boy says:

    realy bad

    • Sulviany says:

      Here is the official weistbe from AAFES (the Army and Air Force Exchange Service) weistbe. It offers a breakdown of the rates for several differnet cards and settles the dispute between units’ and minutes’ on a card. Even if you don’t know a service member, please consider sending an anonymous card because everyone loves to call home. We take it for granted that we can just pick up our cell phone and talk for hours on end. But when there are 30-60 of you trying to use 8 phones in a 2 hour period, you’d rather have a card to use than be left out. We appreciate all the contact from home that we can get, thanks for your support!!