U.S. Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta declared the official end to the Iraq war, formally wrapping up the U.S. military’s mission in the country after almost nine years.
Dec. 15, 2011U.S. military personnel holding the U.S. flag, Iraq flag, and the U.S. Forces Iraq colors look on with an Iraqi Army officer, right, before the start of a casing ceremony where the United States Forces-Iraq flag will be retired, signifying the departure of United States troops from Iraq, at the former Sather Air Base in Baghdad. United States forces are scheduled to entirely depart Iraq by Dec. 31, there are currently around 4,000 troops remaining in Iraq.Mario Tama/Getty Images