OnPolitics: Troops are coming home from Iraq

·3 min read
In this file photo taken on March 12, 2002, US soldiers arrive at Bagram Air Base, in Bagram.  All US and NATO troops have left Bagram Air Base, a US defence official told AFP Friday, signaling the complete withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan was imminent.
In this file photo taken on March 12, 2002, US soldiers arrive at Bagram Air Base, in Bagram. All US and NATO troops have left Bagram Air Base, a US defence official told AFP Friday, signaling the complete withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan was imminent.

It's a new week, OnPolitics readers!

But the U.S. is still dealing with an old problem — specifically ending a "forever war" in Iraq.

And speaking of the military... Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin expressed deep concern about suicide among troops during a visit to U.S. forces stationed in Alaska, where there has been an alarming spike in those deaths.

It's Mabinty, let's do this!

The end of an era

The U.S. will end its combat mission in Iraq by the end of the year, President Joe Biden confirmed Monday in a meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi.

"We’re not going to be, by the end of the year, in a combat zone," Biden told reporters in the Oval Office.

Biden said U.S. troops would continue to train and assist Iraqi forces as they continue to battle the Islamic State, or ISIS.

The U.S. still has about 2,500 troops in Iraq after a series of draw-downs in recent years. Their assignments include counter-terrorism operations and training Iraqi security forces.

Who's happy about this: Anthony Cordesman, a Middle East expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said the drawdown of U.S. combat troops would ease the political pressure on al-Kadhimi from the pro-Iranian militia forces and Iraq’s internal tensions.

It also reflects Biden’s interest in “putting a real end to the U.S. combat role in Iraq.”

Read more on the withdrawal from USA TODAY's White House team.

Real quick: Stories you'll want to read

Pride comes before a fall ...

A Texas man was arrested last week after telling a Bumble match of his participation in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, according to court documents.

Andrew Quentin Taake, 32, of Houston, is accused of pepper-spraying and assaulting police officers who were trying to prevent rioters from entering the building, federal authorities said. Taake is charged with assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers, obstruction of an official proceeding, among other charges, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

How the DOJ catch him? The FBI received a tip about Taake’s participation in the riot from a tip provided by someone he matched with on the dating app, according to a criminal complaint filed July 23. Screenshots of the conversation show Taake sharing pictures of him at the riot, captioned “About 30 minutes after being sprayed,” the document said.

Taake is the second suspect arrested from the U.S. Capitol after a Bumble match alerted authorities. Robert Chapman of New York was arrested and charged in April after his potential love interest reported a photo he shared of him boasting about being a part of the riot.

Hope you have better love matches on dating apps ❤️ — Mabinty

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: President Biden says US to end combat in Iraq by end of 2021