By the end of the summer, the US will switch from combat operations to what the Gen. Ray Odierno, the outgoing commander there, calls "stability operations." The change on September 1, 2010 will bring in a new name. Gone will be Operation Iraqi Freedom. The final phase of the US presence in Iraq as they prepare to withdraw all troops by 2012 is Operation New Dawn.
At a briefing at the Pentagon on Wednesday, Gen. Odierno ticked through the numbers that underscore the mammoth task of leaving Iraq.
16 – US bases still to be handed over to Iraq
500 – US bases closed or turned over since 2007
20,000 – vehicles sent to Afghanistan
50,000 – anticipated troop level on Sept 1, 2010
70,000 – current troop level
75,000 – Troops who have left Iraq since January 2009
1,200,000 – pieces of equipment removed from the country