[I]t’s a big deal that all U.S. troops are coming home. … But the fact is America’s military efforts in Iraq aren’t coming to an end. They are instead entering a new phase. On January 1, 2012, the State Department will command a hired army of about 5,500 security contractors, all to protect the largest U.S. diplomatic presence anywhere overseas.
Exum chimes in:
[W]ars, like history, do not stop when America decides it no longer wants to be involved. This is worth remembering, both in terms of what is taking place in Iraq today as well as what might take place in Afghanistan in 2014. So by all means, say U.S. involvement in the war has ended. But think carefully before saying the war has ended.