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December 18, 2011
nbcnews:

NBC News correspondent Richard Engel reports via Twitter: The gate to #iraq is closed. Soldier just told me, ‘that’s it, the war is over’ http://bit.ly/uz1jQg

War is over (if you want it)

nbcnews:

NBC News correspondent Richard Engel reports via Twitter: The gate to #iraq is closed. Soldier just told me, ‘that’s it, the war is over’ http://bit.ly/uz1jQg

War is over (if you want it)

0:23 // 2 years ago
December 15, 2011
No words, no ceremony can provide full tribute for the sacrifices that have brought this day to pass.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta • U.S. Officially Ends Iraq War (via nationaljournal)

In the end, was it worth it? 
10:16 // 2 years ago
December 12, 2011
A war is ending. A new day is upon us. And let us never forget those who gave us this chance: the untold number of Iraqis who’ve given their lives; more than 1 million Americans, military and civilian, who have served in Iraq; nearly 4,500 fallen Americans who gave their last full measure of devotion; tens of thousands of wounded warriors and so many inspiring military families. They are the reason that we can stand here today. And we owe it to every single one of them, we have a moral obligation to all of them to build a future worthy of their sacrifice.
President Obama • In remarks to the press pool, joined by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Obama has pledged that U.S. forces will be withdrawn from Iraq by the end of the year, saying in October that “our troops in Iraq will definitely be home for the holidays.” The U.S. presence in Iraq is not, however, going away completely — while some 8,000 active duty military personnel are returning home, along with nearly 5,000 private military contractors, the U.S. embassy in Iraq still boasts a personnel staff of 15,000, making it the largest U.S. embassy in the world. Obama has said he intends to cut that number substantially, but that given Iraq’s situation immediately following the war, the embassy’s security staff will by necessity remain higher than most. source (viafollow)
14:36 // 2 years ago
December 3, 2011
Nothing has changed with the withdrawal of the American forces from Iraq on the security level because basically it has been in our hands.
Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki • Emphasizing that the country can handle the forthcoming departure of U.S. troops, as an eight-year war dies down. Al-Maliki says he has “no concerns whatsoever” about the ability of his troops to maintain security in the region, and says the sectarian violence that broke out immediately in the wake of the downfall of the Saddam Hussein government is a thing of the past. “I assure the world that the Iraqi forces and the general situation in the country hasn’t changed and will not change,” he emphasizes. source (viafollow)
18:14 // 2 years ago
October 21, 2011
As promised, the rest of our troops in Iraq will come home by the end of the year. After nearly nine years, America’s war in Iraq will be over.
Barack Obama • Discussing his decision to completely end the war in Iraq, a war that has cost the U.S. more than $800 billion dollars and led to the death of thousands of servicemen and thousands more Iraqis. (Combat troops left last year, but thousands of support troops stayed behind.) While Obama had considered leaving a handful of troops in the country to help the Iraqis, the debate ends with this definitive statement. What do you all think? Did it take too long to make an exit? Or did we do it at the right pace?
14:01 // 2 years ago
October 15, 2011

Iraq War: Conflicting reports on forthcoming troop departures

  • claim Both the Associated Press and the New York Times report that, despite prior reports to the contrary, the U.S. will not keep troops in Iraq past 2011 due to significant security concerns.
  • rebuttal However, a Reuters article says that both the White House and Pentagon deny this fact, claiming that no decision has been made. Which major news outlet do you believe on this issue? source

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21:55 // 2 years ago
September 26, 2011

U.S. Army cutting nearly 9 percent of its forces by 2016

  • 50k number of troops the U.S. Army plans to trim from its roster
  • 8.6% the share of the Army being cut over the next five years
  • 22k number of soldiers getting cut in the first round source

» Going on a diet: With over half a million soldiers, the U.S. Army isn’t lacking in warm bodies, but those numbers went way up in recent years, in part due to the troop surge in Afghanistan. With the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan winding down, the Army is ready to move on. “We feel that with the demand going down in Iraq and Afghanistan, and given the time to conduct a reasonable drawdown, we can manage (the force reduction) just as we have managed drawdowns in the past,” noted Lt. Gen. Thomas Bostick. Is this nearly enough?

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21:19 // 2 years ago
September 20, 2011
Al Jazeera’s news director resigns. Was it due to WIkiLeaks? Today’s big mystery revolves around the fate of Wadah Khanfar, the news director of the Qatar-based news organization, who resigned not long after some unflattering information linked from Wikileaks diplomatic cables. The cables suggested that Khanfar went out of his way to assure U.S. government officials that it was being fair in its coverage of the Iraq War, sharing information with a diplomat and going so far as to spike a story. So, was that it? BTW, Khanfar’s replacement is Sheik Ahmad bin Jasem bin Muhammad Al-Thani, a member of the Qatari royal family, which won’t help refute claims that the news organization is under the country’s influence. (thanks climateadaptation)

Al Jazeera’s news director resigns. Was it due to WIkiLeaks? Today’s big mystery revolves around the fate of Wadah Khanfar, the news director of the Qatar-based news organization, who resigned not long after some unflattering information linked from Wikileaks diplomatic cables. The cables suggested that Khanfar went out of his way to assure U.S. government officials that it was being fair in its coverage of the Iraq War, sharing information with a diplomat and going so far as to spike a story. So, was that it? BTW, Khanfar’s replacement is Sheik Ahmad bin Jasem bin Muhammad Al-Thani, a member of the Qatari royal family, which won’t help refute claims that the news organization is under the country’s influence. (thanks climateadaptation)

23:35 // 2 years ago
September 10, 2011
bilalr:

“Do I regret it? Of course,” Colin Powell to Al Jazeera on being the face of false intelligence on Iraq. Watch the interview here.

Powell emphasizes that the information was combed over before he presented it, and even rejected information that seemed sketchy. “It was nothing I made up. It was nothing I stuck in there.” He found out later after giving a speech to the United Nations that the sourcing of the information was spotty — despite originally being told it wasn’t. A must-watch.

bilalr:

“Do I regret it? Of course,” Colin Powell to Al Jazeera on being the face of false intelligence on Iraq. Watch the interview here.

Powell emphasizes that the information was combed over before he presented it, and even rejected information that seemed sketchy. “It was nothing I made up. It was nothing I stuck in there.” He found out later after giving a speech to the United Nations that the sourcing of the information was spotty — despite originally being told it wasn’t. A must-watch.

14:09 // 3 years ago