A U.S. military convoy leaves Iraq, December 2011.
Lucas Jackson / Courtesy Reuters

In describing what he characterizes as a bungled U.S. exit from Iraq, Rick Brennan (“Withdrawal Symptoms,” November/December 2014) presents an incomplete picture. For one thing, he overestimates the desire among Iraq’s leaders for U.S. forces to stay in the country past 2011, the date by which Iraq and the United States agreed that the U.S. military presence would end. When U.S. troops withdrew from Iraq’s major population centers in 2009, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki announced triumphantly that his country had finally “repelled the invaders.” It’s true that Maliki sent mixed signals at times

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