Biden visits Iraq to mark formal end to U.S. combat

American take on a diplomatic role as military mission comes to a close after seven years


Associated Press
August 30, 2010 10:05PM (UTC)

Vice President Joe Biden has arrived in Baghdad to preside over a ceremony marking the formal end to U.S. combat operations in Iraq.

Wednesday's ceremony signals a shift toward a greater U.S. diplomatic role as the military mission dwindles seven years after the American invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein.

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Biden also plans to push for Iraqi leaders to end their political stalemate and form a new government. Parliamentary elections nearly six months ago left Iraq without a clear winner.

The Obama administration had set an Aug. 31 deadline for cutting back U.S. troop numbers to 50,000 from a high of 170,000 at the height of the war in 2007. All U.S. troops are to leave Iraq by the end of 2011.


Associated Press

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