On Aug. 31, President Barack Obama announced that the combat missions in Iraq were over. In his second speech from the Oval Office, the president recognized American soldiers, their families and all other civilians, for their patience during the war. He also said that the Iraqi people and its government will be able to count on the U.S.’s support in restoring the country.
“Our combat mission is ending,” said President Obama. “But our commitment to Iraq’s future is not.”
Timothy W. Dixon, associate professor of history and legal studies in the Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences said that Obama’s statement on the U.S.’s commitment to Iraq could mean that troops may not leave Iraq as soon as many think.
“If we leave Iraq before there is a functioning government, then we will not have accomplished what was presented as one goal: the establishment of a democratic government in Iraq,” said Dixon. “How do we leave with that unsettled? I have no crystal ball to predict our action.”
Dixon said that until there is a government that can unite the country against the insurgents and control their violence, the U.S. will most likely remain in Iraq.
President Obama also recognized the probability of violence continuing in Iraq.
“Of course, violence will not end with our combat mission. Extremists will continue to set off bombs, attack Iraqi civilians and try to spark sectarian strife,” he said.
But, Obama said, it is now up to the Iraqi people to police the country’s streets and America has other business to attend to. Afghanistan is next on that agenda.
“As we speak, Al Qaeda continues to plot against us, and its leadership remains anchored in the border region of Afghanistan and Pakistan,” said Obama. “We will disrupt, dismantle and defeat Al Qaeda while preventing Afghanistan from again serving as a base for terrorists.”
Even though there are troops still stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan many NSU students were glad to hear that the war was over after seven years.
“I think it’s done more damage than good,” said Ryan Bhagwadin, senior biology major. “And I think it’s good that Obama is sticking to his word.”
Nisha Patel, sophomore biology major, was also glad to hear the news. She said, “It’s about time they come home.”
President Obama said all troops should be out of Iraq by the end of 2011.