As part of what the White House considers the beginning of the end, a contingent of Idaho citizen soldiers departed for Iraq Sunday as the United States looks to a 2011 troop withdrawl while simultaneously ramping up its focus on the war in Afghanistan.
The 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team of the Idaho Army National Guard, including 1,500 from Idaho, 600 from Oregon and 600 from Montana, began flying out of Camp Shelby, Miss., on Sunday. Flights are expected to continue through Friday.
In May, 2010, American forces in Afghanistan surpassed those in Iraq for the first time since Saddam Hussein's ouster and as the struggle against the Taliban insurgency intensified. According to the Pentagon, approximately 100,000 American troops are stationed in Afghanistan while 50,000 Americans are in Iraq.