September 1, 2010 4:22 PM

Gates: Iraq outcome 'will always be clouded by how it began'

The U.S. military Wednesday marked the end of its combat mission in Iraq amid a series of conflicting messages that underscored the mixed feelings many here, both American and Iraqi, have toward a seven-and-a-half-year effort that cost tens of thousands of lives but left the political outcome undecided.

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