Inside Iraq

Pulling out of Iraq

US combat troops are leaving the country, but can the Iraqi army ensure security?


The withdrawal of US combat troops from Iraq has begun and by the end of August there will be fewer than 50,000 left in the country. But although the so-called combat brigades may be gone, they are being replaced by equal numbers of contractors.

And just this week, on one day alone, 13 separate attacks across the country provided a chilling reminder of the perilous conditions confronting the local forces.

With violence on the increase and politicians locked in a stalemate, can the Iraqi army ensure the country’s security or will US soldiers have to return?

Joining Inside Iraq to discuss this are: Hoshyar Zebari, the Iraqi foreign minister; Bradley Blakeman, a former senior White House aide; and Phyllis Bennis, the director of the New Internationalism Project at the Institute for Policy Studies.

This episode of Inside Iraq aired from Friday, August 27, 2010.