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The US military is formally shut down the war in Iraq officially retiring the flag of US forces.
In Iraq troops lowering the flag as you saw there -- camouflage we showed it earlier formally casing it.
According to army tradition but right now let's go out to Jennifer Griffin who is traveling with the secretary defense.
That is in Baghdad on the phone Jennifer you do wasn't a huge Iraqi presence there was -- surprising were scripted.
I don't let me get a little bit surprising.
What insurance being is I would say the number of Iraqis the president need to band just stopped playing here so we're just that it's -- -- -- -- might change.
The number of Iraqi here was -- that I can't -- You remember they don't have a defense minister right now bears and acting -- -- lunch because it took them.
Who wanted to hear that form a government that they don't have a defense minister but there was no prime minister maladies -- -- know.
Large Iraqi President Clinton and it's really I -- I think it -- -- -- about that a little bit I think.
Right so what do you mean what do you make of that Jennifer you've been covering this side of the world for many years what do you make of it mr.
Well I think what's striking here is that this is -- ceremony is taking place at the airport.
It's being done.
You know we we kind of toy remember we all remember the opening hours that's that's a bureaucrat or the socket odd element it -- -- Go big go in quickly get out.
It's eight and a half years later people are tired.
I think the other day -- relationship with extremely strained with the Iraqis.
There is a lot of concern.
Among Iraqis that civil -- is gonna break out when we when the US troops believed in the next coming days the last 4000 troops will be out of here.
At the height of the war that 500 bases across Iraq they're now just to basic and those will be -- in the next coming days.
So the relate I think it's really symbolic of how strained relationship into.
And of course.
You know this wasn't going to be the -- McLaren was that he -- -- top commander here one at 161000 plus troops just stay here to stabilize things.
But it was because there was this tension with a -- to government and about the government did not.
Provide immunity -- for that the it say about the recently stricter darn well.
Yeah and you're right and and you know what it is probably symbolic that they're doing this at the Baghdad airport so that the the big shots can get out of town as quick as they can.
I -- you just mentioned Jennifer that people there are tired.
But the people in the seats watching them the ceremony today is that the rank and file members of the military.
Are they happy to be gone home -- do they feel that you know we were in this to win it.
And -- like a little more.
You know I feel like the people here in fact that we get in from Afghanistan where we get to talk to the troops there.
And that's award is still going on -- -- -- And but I spent but they're they're -- people are tired there as well huge military has been fighting for years eager people who have been -- three sports court.
What we're seeing today is.
I don't think anybody surprised that it's ending it's it's been winding down for some time.
These troops -- that we see today in Baghdad they're just happy that they're going to be -- their families by the holidays.
And but they all expected deployed yet and -- -- to deploy to Afghanistan and they expect.
To deploy elsewhere that nobody thinks that.
That the situation around the world -- -- in front then.
Two point -- when he talked to the secretary of defense who's just CIA director before that I thought was retired.
He's right now in the middle of this and in one of the most crucial times in American military history do you get the sense that this was his decision.
No I I I don't get the sense it was his decision I've spent a great deal -- had queued up McCain it's that that was in the last two days and I've -- a great deal of trepidation about what lies ahead.
In Iraq I spent.
That he's trying to project.
Strengths he says that Iran does not come in and fill the vacuum in Iraq that were not numerous warnings that.
I don't work.
It ran then anyone former -- who may be listening -- intentionally I think.
Little -- me that 40000 US troops will remain in the gulf.
-- it to counter that Iranian threat he.
-- we broke the story she is because it says that US parents like overran those Imus should be flown out of Afghanistan will continue he told me that.
So my -- it's there's a great deal of trepidation about what lies ahead.
But that the US is going to continue to have a very strong presence in the middle lead.
And that the Defense Secretary and these are soldiers and troops -- today.
None of them expected it -- Being agents some sort of military conflict down the road will be asked you comeback -- trading purposes.
Don't forget that Iraq is going to be one of the largest.
Buyers of US weapons they bought.
Eighteen F sixteen the other day -- they're buying billions of dollars of weapons from the us government somebody it seven out of slide as best as it's being somebody's gonna have to seven bodies these weapons and.
All right I Jennifer Griffin even listening to her reporting for -- she's live with the Defense Secretary and at that ceremony in Baghdad Iraq.
I think so much for your perspective senator.
It up and stay safe as you travel with the secretary of defense through some very dangerous areas let's bring back in general.
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