Yet, lost beneath the headlines and fanfare is the following fact: around 50,000 troops will remain in Iraq. The government is not describing them as combat troops. Instead, it is calling these soldiers advisers, as the Washington Post reports:
By the end of this month, the United States will have six brigades in Iraq, by far its smallest footprint since the 2003 invasion. Those that remain are conventional combat brigades reconfigured slightly and rebranded "advise and assist brigades." The primary mission of those units and the roughly 4,500 U.S. special operations forces that will stay behind will be to train Iraqi troops.The Iraq War will continue to exact financial and physical costs on the United States and the people of Iraq.