Insecurity rife inside Iraq as US troops quit
Published 10/12/2011 | 05:00
AS the last US troops begin to leave Iraq so that all are out by the end of the year, what sort of Iraq do they leave behind them? Does the American departure mean that Iraq might revert to turmoil or even civil war?
US officials are seeking to avoid any suggestion this is a military retreat. They even prefer to avoid the use of the word "withdrawal" and term the final pullout of a US army that once numbered 170,000 men in 550 bases as a "reposturing" of forces.
Iraq remains an extraordinarily dangerous country. Since the US invasion eight-and-a-half years ago, scarcely a day has passed when an Iraqi has not been killed or wounded. Casualties may be much less than at their peak of 3,000 dead a month in 2006, but they are by no means negligible.