For the past seven and a half years, the United States military has been involved in a combat mission in Iraq, widely known as "Operation Iraqi Freedom." On August 31, President Barack Obama announced that "Operation Iraqi Freedom" will be coming to an end, and will be replaced by a new phase in the mission named "Operation New Dawn". The goal of this next step is to install a stable government in Iraq, and to pull U.S. troops out of the country entirely by summer 2011. Such a finite deadline has heightened the worries of the Iraqi people. Officials are concerned that the U.S. will be leaving their country prematurely, and that they will not have a secure, functioning government in time. They worry that their proximity to Iran will leave their rookie government an easy target to be overrun or corrupted.
While these concerns are valid, Iraqi leaders are failing to acknowledge that they have been depending on the United States to solve all of their domestic problems. This is simply enabling Iraq's inability to assemble an effective government. It is vital for Iraq to play a more active role in assuming responsibilities in order to adequately rebuild their country within a tight time frame.
For the U.S., this move signifies progress towards peace in the Middle East. The U.S. and Iraq are now allies, and it is important that the U.S. maintains this relationship, not only by assisting Iraq in developing a new government, but also by following through on this hard deadline, to eliminate any possibilities of miscommunication. The U.S. has been successful thus far in creating stronger ties with the Middle East, starting with overthrowing the reign of Saddam Hussein. Seven years of sending troops, fighting terrorism, and laying the foundation for a functioning society and government, will not only benefit Iraq, but also the U.S. in its future relations with the Middle East. This should prove particularly prosperous in the coming years as the world's crude oil reserves continue to dwindle.
In due time, Americans will be able to experience the positive effects of President Obama's plans to jumpstart "Operation New Dawn," and to fully remove troops from Iraq within the next nine months. While it is debatable whether or not the initial commitment of troops into Iraq was well calculated, President Obama has been tying loose ends, and swiftly responding to this inherited conflict in a seemingly effective manner. U.S troops will be reunited with their families, U.S. government funds will refurbish themselves, and the economy will surely improve. Perhaps then Americans will finally show some confidence in Obama's meticulously formulated strategies and tactics.