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War in Iraq declared officially over

Janelle Vreeland

U.S. soldier with Iraqi children

War in Iraq shut down by officials

The U.S. war in Iraq is formally over.

AP reports that officials have shut down the war in Iraq. Overall, the war in Iraq has left 4,500 Americans dead, 100,000 Iraqi dead and 32,000 Americans injured. The war in Iraq also cost the U.S. more than $800 billion. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said that these sacrifices set Iraq on the path to democracy.

“You will leave with great pride — lasting pride,” Panetta told the troops in Baghdad Thursday. “Secure in knowing that your sacrifice has helped the Iraqi people to begin a new chapter in history.”

Now that the war in Iraq has officially ended, there are only two U.S. bases and about 4,000 U.S. troops still in Iraq.

“[The Iraqi people are] going face challenges in the future,” Panetta said Wednesday during a visit with troops in Afghanistan. “They’ll face challenges from terrorism, they’ll face challenges from those that would want to divide their country. They’ll face challenges from just the test of democracy, a new democracy and trying to make it work. But the fact is, we have given them the opportunity to be able to succeed.”

Read more about the end to the war in Iraq here.

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