After almost nine years, the United States has officially ended its Iraq campaign.
The U.S. military lowered the flag of the U.S. forces-Iraq Thursday, symbolizing the end of the war.
Now, only a few thousand troops remain in the country, a stark drop from the 170,000 once stationed there, with virtually all expected to leave by the end of the month. At the height of the war, there were 500 U.S. military installations open in Iraq--now, just two U.S. bases remain.
The war concludes with a heavy price tag: 4,500 Americans dead, 32,000 wounded, and $8 billion spent. Over a million soldiers cycled through the country at some point during the war's duration. U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta acknowledged the toll the war took, but said soldiers should be proud of their accomplishments.
"We spilled a lot of blood there," Panetta said. "But all of that has not been in vain. It's been to achieve a mission making that country sovereign and independent and able to govern and secure itself."
The full legacy of the conflict will likely remain a point of controversy for generations to come.
Four thousand troops will remain in Kuwait past Christmas to help finalize the move out of Iraq--and will be on hand in the instance that reaction forces were needed.
KKTV firmly believes in freedom of speech for all and we are happy to provide this forum for the community to share opinions and facts. We ask that commenters keep it clean, keep it truthful, stay on topic and be responsible. Comments left here do not necessarily represent the viewpoint of KKTV 11 News.
If you believe that any of the comments on our site are inappropriate or offensive, please tell us by clicking “Report Abuse” and answering the questions that follow. We will review any reported comments promptly.powered by Disqus
Viewers with disabilities can get assistance accessing this station's FCC Public Inspection File by contacting the station with the information listed below. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, 888-835-5322 (TTY), or email@example.com.