PLEDGE NOW
Pulling Out of Iraq's Cities
An Iraqi Army soldier, left, and U.S. Army Sgt. Lou Rodriguez, right, from Chaos Co., 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment stand guard during a joint operation in Mosul, 60 kilometers (225 miles) northwest of Baghdad, Iraq, Sunday, June 14, 2009. Sgt. Rodriguez, 28, is from Brownsville, Texas. (AP)

An Iraqi Army soldier, left, and U.S. Army Sgt. Lou Rodriguez, right, from Chaos Co., 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, stand guard during a joint operation in Mosul, Iraq, on June 14, 2009. (AP)

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has declared tomorrow — Tuesday, June 30th — a national holiday. That’s the deadline for American combat troops to be out of Iraq’s cities.

Maliki has pushed hard for this pullout. He says Iraq’s own army and police will keep the country secure. His political future depends on it.

But questions remain about whether Iraq’s security forces are up to the task. Violence is ratcheting up. A lot of power is at stake. And the U.S. is shifting its focus to the fight in Afghanistan.

This hour, On Point: U.S. combat troops out of Iraqi cities — and where that leaves Iraqis.

You can join the conversation. Tell us what you think — here on this page, on Twitter, and on Facebook.

Guests:

Joining us in our studio is Anthony Shadid, Baghdad bureau chief for The Washington Post. He first reported from Iraq in 1998 and won the Pulitzer Prize in 2004 for his coverage of the Iraq war. He’s the author of “Night Draws Near: Iraq’s People in the Shadow of America’s War” (2005).

Joining us from Baghdad is Sahar Issa, an Iraqi correspondent for McClatchy newspapers based in Baghdad. See McClatchy’s Inside Iraq blog, written by Iraqi journalists working for McClatchy Newspapers in Iraq.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Feb 9, 2016
Host Tom Ashbrook and producer Sarah Platt speak to supporters of Republican Sen. Marco Rubio (FL) outside the candidate's Manchester, N.H. campaign headquarters on Monday, February 8, 2016. (Katherine Brewer / WBUR)

We’re live in New Hampshire for the first in the nation primary day, with all the latest on how the big vote is shaping up.

Feb 9, 2016
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign stop at a Rotary Club luncheon in Manchester, N.H., Monday, Feb. 8, 2016. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

From New Hampshire, a deep dive, from Trump to Sanders, on how the candidates would approach the U.S. economy.

RECENT
SHOWS
Feb 8, 2016
Legendary film critic  Roger Ebert in an archival image from his early days at the Chicago Sun-Times. (Flickr / WikiCommons)

The critic speaks. The New York Times’ A.O. Scott on how to think about art, pleasure, beauty and truth.

 
Feb 8, 2016
Sign stands outside property for rent Friday, Nov. 20, 2015, in south Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

If it feels like rents are sky-high, you’re right. Some now paying more than half their income on rent. Some say crisis. We’ll dig in.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Notes From New Hampshire, #6: Bernie v. Hillary — The Electability Debate
Monday, Feb 8, 2016

Bill and Betty are not real New Hampshire voters. But their arguments about the Democratic race for President most certainly are.

More »
Comment
 
Notes From New Hampshire, #5: Ted Cruz — The Advocate
Monday, Feb 8, 2016

Texas Senator and Republican Presidential candidate Ted Cruz is an impassioned advocate, Jack Beatty writes — but mostly for himself above all others.

More »
Comment
 
Notes From New Hampshire, #4: Donald Trump — You Heard It First!
Friday, Feb 5, 2016

Jack Beatty recounts an evening rally with Republican Presidential frontrunner Donald Trump, and wonders if the billionaire businessman is really looking for an exit.

More »
Comment