When leaders -- whether political or military -- announce that the "the troops will be home for Christmas," they're usually wrong. It didn't happen in 1944, or 1950, or 1967. But in 2011 they've gotten it right.
This week President Barack Obama and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta announced the formal end of the nearly nine-year-old Iraq War. The final 4-5,000 American troops there are headed home.
When he was running for president, Obama promised an end to the war. He has been drawing troop numbers down during most of his administration. U.S. troops totaled 170,000 at their highest in 2007.
How Iraq will fare in the post-American era is anyone's guess. For now, we're glad to be ending the war and moving on. Happy Holidays!
Photo: American troops retire the U.S. colors during a ceremony in Baghdad marking the end of the Iraqi War, December 15, 2011.
Photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo/Department of Defense