by Ninette Sosa
Dec. 18, 2011
After nearly nine years, the U.S. has removed the last of its troops from Iraq, ending the war.
About 500 soldiers and more than a hundred military vehicles crossed the border into Kuwait, making the journey from Camp Adder in Iraq under the cover of night.
“It’s a feeling of elation,” said Lt. Col. Jack Vantress, convoy commander. “To see what we’ve accomplished in the last eight and a half years and to be a part of the last movement out of Iraq – it’s hard to put words to it right now.”
A former national security advisor for Iraq explained what the milestone means for his country.
“This is a jubilant moment,” said Mowaffak al-Rubaie, “We feel in Iraq that we own the country now, we regain our country, we have now our sovereignty and independence completely and we, the sense of belonging is now sky-high to Iraq.”
Former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Wesley Clark agrees, and says the withdrawal may benefit U.S.-Iraq relations.
“One thing’s very important to understand,” said Clark. “Iraq’s future is primarily up to Iraq, just as it has been for several years. As we’ve seen in other countries that we’ve left, sometimes friendship develops better if you’re not too heavy a presence inside the country.”