As Obama’s August Drawdown Nears, Most Troops Still in Iraq

After Over a Year 'On Track' Deadline Certain to Be Missed

Since his February 2009 announcement that he intended to withdraw all but 50,000 troops from Iraq and redefine the rest as non-combat troops, President Obama has removed only a trivial number of troops from the nation.

Since then questions of how he intends to meet the goal have been deflected by claims the plans are “on track,” and those claims have continued up until the past few weeks.

The administration would probably be happy to continue this official story, and indeed is doing so with other dubious timetables, but the Iraq one simply has lost all credibility at this point and officials are admitting it is being “reconsidered.

The problem is with just over three months left and well over 90,000 troops left in Iraq, only a herculean effort by the military could possibly meet the deadline at this point. An effort which, frankly, seems to interest no one in the administration.

The administration had always put the election forward as the driving force in the pullout, but two months later and with no visible end in sight to the election wrangling, violence is on the rise and the US is rapidly seeing its “stabilizing” election having the opposite effect. At this point, the US seems to have switched to insisting the 2011 pullout is “on track,” but that is likely only because it is still far enough way that it can’t be conclusively disproven yet.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.