US troops leave Iraq: A local's view
- 19 August 2010
- From the section Middle East
The last American combat brigade based in Iraq has left the country. The troops pulled out two weeks ahead of President Obama's deadline.
The US troops have been in the country since March 2003 under the orders of former US President, George Bush. More than 50,000 other US soldiers are staying to help train local forces.
As forces make their journey back to the United States, Baghdad resident, Lubna, gives her reaction.
Lubna, 24, Baghdad
For me as an ordinary Baghdadi citizen the importance of the withdrawal of the US combat troops from my Iraq is largely symbolic, as it marks the beginning of the end of the American occupation. It's really hard to care about the troops leaving though because life in Baghdad is barely tolerable. Basic things that make for an acceptable quality of life are still missing. There's a severe shortage of electricity and water. There's massive unemployment and corruption. Five months after the elections we still have no functioning government or parliament. Our politicians are a big disapointment.
What worries me the most about the near future is the political vacuum that has been created. I think this will have more impact on Iraqis than the affect troop withdrawal. What we really need is a powerful and functioning government and parliament that can fight insurgency as well as providing Iraqis with what they need in order to live a dignified and prosperous life, and that's currently missing.
It's hard to predict what life will be like here now that the troops have gone. They have been here since 2003. Between then and now, there have been so many terrorist attacks which weren't prevented so I don't think it will make much difference whether there is a US presence here or not. Ordinary Iraqis have died, people have lost loved ones. I have lost 15 people in total including relatives, friends, neighbours and colleagues.
Things are better now than in 2006 and 2007 but overall the security situation is volatile. We can go days without an incident but then there's a big terrorist attack. I don't feel completely safe, but I do feel better than a few years ago.
I've recently qualified as a doctor. One day I hope to be a paediatrician. In hospitals though, there is a lack of medical supplies. I hope it will get better though. I am optimistic.