The sudden adjournment of the Iraqi Parliament until late September has left Britain’s 100 remaining troops scrambling to get out of the nation by the end of the week, when their legal mandate will expire. Romania says their troops left last week, and Australia’s handful of troops will be out by Friday.
While in practice the US has supplied well over 99% of the troops remaining in the country this year, the pullouts will mean that by this weekend the once-vaunted “coalition of the willing” that backed the 2003 invasion of Iraq will be down to a single nation, the United States, whose roughly 132,000 are still mired in occupation over six years later.
While recent polls have shown a dramatic majority of Americans opposed to the ongoing war, repeated claims of progress from the Obama Administration have kept the issue largely on the back-burner, with more focus on the slightly less unpopular escalation in Afghanistan.
President Obama insists the pullout remains “on schedule,” though Iraqi Prime Minister has hinted that he might ask the American troops to stay beyond the 2011 deadline set in the current Status of Forces Agreement.
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