However, with the Iraqis, such a thing is "never" a sure thing. As much as it makes sense from a USG perspective, the fact of the matter is, their are powers within Iraq that really don't want us there.
Radical Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has called for public rallies on Jan. 1 to celebrate the U.S. withdrawal, but the idea hasnít gained much traction with other Iraqi political leaders. For now, there are no formal ceremonies planned in Iraq to mark the end of the U.S.-led mission there or to commemorate the thousands of Americans and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis killed in the conflict.
One Source: http://www.nationaljournal.com/nationalsecurity/iraq-war-ends-with-a-whimper-not-a-bang-20111017
I suspect that the USG will keep about 200 (or so) active military (not counting the Marine Security Guard) in official status within the DOS (Embassy) contingent.
Without regard to the "spin" that political truth-sayers and administration officials will place on this, the objective judgement should be based on the National Strategy for Victory in Iraq; look at the prediction and definitions against the actual outcomes.
Victory in Iraq is Defined in Stages
- Short term, Iraq is making steady progress in fighting terrorists, meeting political milestones, building democratic institutions, and standing up security forces.
- Medium term, Iraq is in the lead defeating terrorists and providing its own security, with a fully constitutional government in place, and on its way to achieving its economic potential.
- Longer term, Iraq is peaceful, united, stable, and secure, well
Well after, the Dead, the Wounded and the Treasure spent, to further this cause into Iraq (those lovable and very worthy people), where are we in terms of "victory;" as defined by Washington.