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Withdrawing Soldiers from Iraq

Withdrawing Soldiers from Iraq - Withdrawing Soldiers from...

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Withdrawing Soldiers from Iraq After the atrocities of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, the public was told that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, were harboring terrorists, and that Saddam Hussein was planning an offensive against the United States. This was the basis for the United States and Coalition Forces invading Iraq in 2003. Eventually, we found that the reports of weapons of mass destruction were greatly exaggerated. Though the atrocities of the Hussein regime were well known, this was never our fight. After the initial invasion, many other military units were sent to Iraq – at lease twenty-one non-U.S. units existed in the country in 2007 from our allied countries such as Britain, Japan, and Australia (GlobalSecurity.org, 2009). Though the number of troops in Iraq has fluctuated, in July 2004, there were approximately 133,000 non-Iraqi troops in Iraq and 112,000 of those were American. More than thirty countries initially sent troops into the fray (BBC, 2004). Many attempts have been made to hand the security issues over to the Iraqis, but they have not been able to step up to the plate and assume full responsibility as of yet (Shadid, 2009). The following figure illustrates the disparity in troop levels between U.S. troops and their allies. There has been a decline in allied troop support since 2007 when more countries felt that their presence was not as urgent as before.
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Troop Levels in Iraq--Past Five Years 0 50,000 100,000 150,000 200,000 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 US UK Other (approx) (CNN, 2009) The loss of life in Iraq has been staggering. As of April 6, 2009, there were 4,266 confirmed dead and 31,102 wounded in action. Of this number, 9,477 required medical air transport. There were 36,106 non-hostile-related medical air transports. 9,452 air transports were for non-hostile injuries, and 26,654 were for disease or other medical reasons (GlobalSecurity.com, 2009). America’s allies have also suffered loses. The British have reported 179 killed. Italy, Ukraine, Poland, Bulgaria, Spain, Demark, El Salvador, Slovakia, Latvia, Georgia, Estonia, Netherlands, Thailand, Romania, Australia, Hungary, Kazakhstan, and South Korea have all reported deaths totaling approximately one hundred twenty-seven (AP, 2009). The estimated number of Iraqi deaths from 2006 through April 2009, based on
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