Sunday February 23, 2020

In with a bang, but out with a whimper

Last week's ceremony marked the end of the war in Iraq, but the absence of leaders perhaps symbolised the muted celebration, writes Niall Stanage in Washington DC.

18th December, 2011
US president Barack Obama addresses troops at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, last Wednesday. Photo: Getty

The end of one of the most divisive wars in America's history was fittingly muted. The ceremony marking the official conclusion of the war in Iraq took place in the less-than-grandiose surroundings of Baghdad International Airport. Seats were reserved for Iraq's prime minister and president, but neither showed up. The highest ranking member of Barack Obama's administration in attendance was Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.

The event had none of the chaos of the withdrawal from...

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