Thousands still in danger

When President Barack Obama insisted U.S. troops had been pulled out of Iraq, we warned he was not being entirely candid. Thousands of Americans remain in harm’s way there.

At one point after American military involvement allegedly ended, the U.S. embassy in Iraq had about 15,000 employees. They were protected by about 5,000 private security contractors. Thousands of other Americans, also safeguarded by contract soldiers, also remain in Iraq.

Violent attacks by Islamic militants are increasing in Iraq. If they continue, the terrorists will attack Americans.

On Sunday, a series of car-bomb attacks and clashes between security forces and militants around and north of Baghdad killed at least 21 non-American civilians amid the ongoing standoff between Iraqi forces and al-Qaida-linked militants. Deputy Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs Brett McGurk traveled to Iraq to meet with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and other top Iraqi political leaders. In a statement, the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad said McGurk emphasized the U.S. “will provide all necessary and appropriate assistance to the government of Iraq.”

Washington wisely has ruled out sending U.S. troops back into the country, but the United States cannot forget the Americans still in Iraq and the need to keep them safe.