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IRAQ U.S. to Double Civilian Force in Iraq After Withdrawal


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Fox News:


U.S. to Double Civilian Force in Iraq After Withdrawal

Aug. 18: U.S. Army soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division race toward the border from Iraq into Kuwait.
As the last brigade of U.S. combat troops began to leave Iraq Thursday the Obama administration reportedly planned to double the number of private security guards it has in the country to fill the void.

President Barack Obama had imposed an end-of-the-month deadline for the pullout -- and "The Last Patrol," which included members of the 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, crossed the border into Kuwait in the early hours of Thursday local time.

Obama called it a milestone in the war, but the widely-publicized exit of the Stryker soldiers Thursday does not entirely end the fighting mission as there are still 2,600 combat troops left in Iraq.. They are expected to pull out in the next few days.

About 50,000 troops will stay in Iraq until the end of next year to train Iraqi forces and after August 31 the mission in Iraq will no longer be known as Operation Iraqi Freedom and will instead be known as Operation New Dawn.

When the last of the military troops leave at the end of 2011, the Obama administration is planning to more than double the number of private security guards it has in Iraq -- up to 7,000 -- The New York Times reported late Wednesday, citing unnamed administration officials.

The U.S. State Department move is aimed at protecting civilians still exposed to al Qaeda-linked insurgents and Iranian-backed militias.snip
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