It was one year ago today that the Obama administration officially announced it was pulling the last full U.S. combat brigade from Iraq. Today, roughly 46,000 U.S. troops remain in the country, along with more than 64,000 private contractors. This week, as Iraq suffers its deadliest violence of the year, there is increasing speculation that the Obama administration will extend its occupation of the war-ravaged nation. Earlier this month, the Iraqi government authorized talks on whether to approve keeping thousands of U.S. troops in Iraq beyond a withdrawal deadline of December 31. "All of the U.S. troops have [gone] back to their bases since 2009, and they have not been taking any daily patrols to [do] what they used to call 'protect Iraqis,'" says our guest, Raed Jarrar, an Iraqi-American blogger and political analyst based in Washington, D.C., who was in Iraq two weeks ago. "I think the U.S. presence in Iraq is not for protecting Iraqis. It has not been a part of the solution. And it’s actually a part of the problem." [includes rush transcript]moreless
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