PLEDGE NOW
U.S. Troops To Leave Iraq: What Happens Now?

The Obama administration will withdraw troops from Iraq as scheduled. We’ll take a look at what happens now.

An Iraqi police officer uses a  detector at a checkpoint in central Baghdad, Iraq, Sunday, Oct. 23, 2011. A U.S. Department of State program to train Iraqi police lacks focus, could become a "bottomless pit" of American money, and is not even appreciated by the Iraqi government, a U.S. government watchdog warned in a report released Monday. (AP)

An Iraqi police officer uses a detector at a checkpoint in central Baghdad, Iraq, Sunday, Oct. 23, 2011. A U.S. Department of State program to train Iraqi police lacks focus, could become a "bottomless pit" of American money, and is not even appreciated by the Iraqi government, a U.S. government watchdog warned in a report released Monday. (AP)

George W. Bush cut the deal, but Barack Obama confirmed it on Friday. After nearly nine years of war, US troops will be out of Iraq by the end of this year. No extension. No big stay-behind vestigial force in the country to keep the peace or keep Iran at bay. A million US service men and women have served in Iraq. A hundred and fifty will stay to guard the embassy.

It’s not what the Pentagon wanted. It is what Barack Obama promised. It is what Iraqi politics demanded. And it’s coming very soon.

This hour On Point: US troops head for the exits in Iraq.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Christopher Hill, former U.S. ambassador to Iraq, and dean of the Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver.

Ellen Laipson, president, Henry L. Stimson Center

Julian Barnes, Pentagon correspondent for the Wall Street Journal.

Tim Arango, Baghdad Bureau Chief for the New York Times.

From Tom’s Reading List

The New York Times “Beyond the final withdrawal of troops that President Obama announced Friday, America’s fiscal troubles are dictating a drastic scaling back of plans for diplomatic, economic and cultural programs once deemed vital to steadying Iraq, building a long-term alliance and prying the country from Iran’s tightening embrace.”

Foreign Policy “The Obama administration is claiming it always intended to withdraw all U.S. troops from Iraq by the end of this year, in line with the president’s announcement today, but in fact several parts of the administration appeared to try hard to negotiate a deal for thousands of troops to remain — and failed.”

Al Jazeera “In a decision promptly denounced by Republicans, President Barack Obama announced on Friday that all US troops will be withdrawn from Iraq by the Christmas holidays in late December.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
May 2, 2016
A man walks on the rail tracks of a train station turned into a makeshift camp crowded by migrants and refugees, at the northern Greek border point of Idomeni, Greece, Friday, April 29, 2016. Many thousands of migrants remain at the Greek border with Macedonia, hoping that the border crossing will reopen, allowing them to move north into central Europe. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

A top former US diplomat says refugees and tribalism are pulling Europe apart and that the US needs to get involved- to help Europe by helping refugees.

May 2, 2016
ADVANCE FOR MONDAY, MAY 2, 2016 AND THEREAFTER - In this April 19, 2016 photo, Laurie Millan, a para-professional and tutor, works with a student during an after school tutoring session at San Francisco International High School, in San Francisco. While some districts in numerous states have discouraged migrant minors from Central America from enrolling in their schools, the school accommodated its youths by rewriting young-adult novels at a basic level to spark the newcomers' interest in reading.  (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Is grit the secret sauce that drives success? More important than both talent and intellect? We’re talking the power and limits of grit.

RECENT
SHOWS
Apr 29, 2016
Screengrab from the #MorethanMean video produced by Sarah Spain and Julie Dicaro. Scroll down to view the video.

Women pushing back. A video by two female sports reporters about online harassment goes viral.

 
Apr 29, 2016
Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, joined by former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina waves during a rally in Indianapolis, Wednesday, April 27, 2016, when Cruz announced he has tapped Fiorina to serve as his running mate. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Trump and Hillary wins. Bernie lays off. Cruz chooses Carly. Beyonce drops “Lemonade.” Our weekly news roundtable goes beyond the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
‘Embedded’: How Violent Gangs Are Terrorizing El Salvador
Thursday, Apr 14, 2016

NPR’s Kelly McEvers on her reporting in El Salvador for the podcast Embedded, and how gang killings brought San Salvador’s bus service to a halt.

More »
Comment
 
That Cheap Dress On Facebook? It Isn't Worth It
Monday, Apr 11, 2016

Know those shockingly cheap clothes you see advertised on Facebook? There’s a catch.

More »
Comment
 
The Boston Globe Imagines — And Rejects — A President Trump Front Page
Monday, Apr 11, 2016

The Boston Globe editorial page imagines — and rejects — President Donald Trump.

More »
Comment