Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.
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Baghdad, Iraq (CNN) – On a bitterly cold December morning in 2011, we watched as the last U.S. troops crossed the border into Kuwait, ending America's war in Iraq.
More than 100 vehicles were in that convoy, snaking its way across the desert and through the floodlit border crossing, leaving behind empty bases and memories of nearly 4,500 American lives that were lost.
Americans breathed a sigh of relief. Many Iraqis held their breath. War, they feared, was far from over for them, and time has borne out their fears. The death and violence never stopped - it's just that the bombs and bullets faded from American minds and television screens once the pull-out was complete.