The Alyona Show: What’s next for Iraq?

Anticipation builds as US President Barack Obama prepares to address the US on August 31 on the end of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Will he tout success, or place emphasis on America's other big issue, Afghanistan. RT producer Lucy Kafanov broke down what to expect and what not to expect from Obama’s speech. She said he needs to put blame where blame is do. Kafanov explained that no one cares about the withdraw deadline, instead the rest of the world really cares about a stable Iraq.

Looking back, what brought the US to Iraq in the first place? As the last combat troops depart, was sacrificing more than four thousand Americans worth it for them? Jon Soltz, co-founder and chair of VoteVets.org debates with James Carafano, senior defense policy analyst at Heritage Foundation.

While the US ends combat its mission in Iraq and continues a war in Afghanistan, the nation is also waging shadow wars in over a dozen other countries. The ACLU has challenged JSOC’s right to engage in targeted killings outside of the battlefield. Jack Rice, former CIA Special Agent and a criminal defense attorney explained that in comparison you can give two thumbs up but if you look at today our work isn’t done. He discusses these shadow wars and how America can kill anyone they want without transparency.

Remember the Neocons? Well, where are they now? The Neocons, the architects of the Iraq War, helped fashion the ‘Intel’ that convinced US lawmakers to go to war. Matthew Duss, a national security researcher and blogger at the Center for American Progress took a look at the key players and where they are now. He explained why Donald Rumsfeld wasn’t a real neocon and how he became a scapegoat.

And finally, is this the beginning of the end or the end of the beginning? Is Iraq ready to be independent and control its own security? Mina Al-Oraibi, the Washington bureau chief of Asharq Alawsat explained that the US withdrawal is a symbolic milestone even though on the ground it doesn’t make much of a difference. She described two relationship scenarios between the US and Iraq.