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Combat Brigades Still In Iraq, Just Renamed

Soldiers wave at a Stryker armored vehicle as it leaves Iraq.   Maya Alleruzzo/AP hide caption

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Maya Alleruzzo/AP

You could be forgiven if you thought there were no more U.S. combat brigades in Iraq since there was so much news media coverage earlier in the week about the "last combat brigade" exiting the Arab nation.

But as it turns out, there actually are still combat brigades there. They've just been renamed.

As journalists at NPR and elsewhere have repeatedly noted, there still are thousands of U.S. combat troops in Iraq.

Not only combat troops, however, but combat brigades. They've just gone under something of an Orwellian name change.

Kate Brannen of Army Times explains:

Soldiers from the 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team of the 25th Infantry Division are deployed in Iraq as members of an Advise and Assist Brigade, the Army’s designation for brigades selected to conduct security force assistance.

So while the “last full U.S. combat brigade” have left Iraq, just under 50,000 soldiers from specially trained heavy, infantry and Stryker brigades will stay, as well as two combat aviation brigades.

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