An overdue withdrawal

Removing troops from Iraq will take Americans out of harm’s way.

by Editorial board

Last week, President Barack Obama fulfilled a campaign promise by announcing that the U.S. will withdraw its military forces from Iraq by the end of 2011. ObamaâÄôs declaration is good for Iraqi sovereignty, for U.S. troops, for U.S. taxpayers and for AmericaâÄôs image internationally. Respecting IraqâÄôs independence will take Americans out of harmâÄôs way and also set the U.S. on a more sustainable fiscal path.

Since 2008, the majority of IraqâÄôs Parliament has been asking for a formal troop withdrawal timetable, citing Iraqi public opinion as the main reason for the request. Withdrawing from the country achieves our goal of allowing Iraqis to determine their own future.

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have resulted in massive human costs for the U.S. More Americans died during the War in Iraq than died on Sept. 11. Ending this war is a step toward keeping more Americans safe and preventing even more American and Iraqi deaths.

The longer troops stay there, the more lives we lose. It seems unlikely that the American military could have accomplished anything it hasnâÄôt been able to in the last several years by staying in Iraq even longer.

Besides the massive human cost, Operation Iraqi Freedom cost the nation at least $700 billion. Withdrawing troops from Iraq will lessen the burden of foreign occupation costs for U.S. taxpayers.

Having one fewer occupation abroad will help each U.S. citizen as well as respect the rights and sovereignty of the Iraqi people. ObamaâÄôs move to finally remove U.S. troops from Iraq is a wise one, and long overdue.