The US government announced on Friday it will withdraw all US troops from Iraq by the end of this year. Deputy National Security Advisor Denis McDonough said “what we were looking for was an Iraq that was secure, stable, and self reliant, and that’s what we got here.”
However some officials such as US Ambassador James Jeffrey, Army General Lloyd Austin and the White House official Brett McGurk have been reported to have pushed for an extension for some troops to remain in Iraq. Marisa Cochrane Sullivan, managing director at the Institute for the Study of War, also expressed concern over the withdrawal of troops believing it would leave the country more vulnerable to internal and external threats.
It is reported that an extension was considered, but fell through over the administration’s demands that immunity for U.S. troops be endorsed by the Iraqi Council of Representatives. Some experts have warned that US withdrawal from Iraq would leave it open to the Iranian influence.
Some 4,000 Americans have been killed in the almost decade long war in Iraq.