by Patrick Appel

Ricks was underwhelmed by the speech:

As [Obama] said in the speech, he was fulfilling a campaign pledge to get all combat troops out of Iraq by today. Unfortunately, it was a phony pledge -- the mission of the U.S. troops still in Iraq is, if anything, more dangerous today than it was yesterday. And so the core of the speech was hollow.

Meanwhile, in the under-reported Iraq story of the month, the Iraqi army chief of staff said the U.S. military needs to stay in Iraq for another decade. "If I were asked about the withdrawal, I would say to politicians: "the US army must stay until the Iraqi army is fully ready in 2020," said Lt. Gen. Babaker Zebari.

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