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APHas American credibility been severely damaged by the Iraq War?
One day after the last US combat unit left the country, some in the
German press say that it has. Commentators are pessimistic about Iraq’s
ability to cope alone.
It has been seven and a half years since Shock and Awe, the military
campaign launched by US and UK forces to topple Iraqi dictator Saddam
Hussein. On Thursday, the last US combat unit crossed the border into
Kuwait with far less fanfare than when those first coalition forces
arrived in March 2003.
Just before dawn on Thursday morning the 4th Stryker Brigade, 2nd
Infantry Division passed through the border posts at the Khabari
Crossing to Kuwait. One soldier, Luke Dill, now a staff sergeant, had
been part of the initial invasion back in 2003 when he was just 18 years
old. Now aged 25, he told the Associated Press that he would proud for
the rest of his life that “I came in on the initial push and now I’m
leaving with the last of the combat units.”
Yet the cost of the war has been enormous both financially and in
terms of human lives. Over 4,400 US troops and 100,000 Iraqi civilians
died during the conflict. And the country is by no means completely
pacified, with sectarian and ethnic tensions still present and
insurgents thought to be regaining strength.
US President B…