Anxious Iraq braces for violence as U.S. leaves

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, right, shakes hands with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, left, as Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, center, looks on during a special ceremony at Camp Victory, one of the last American bases in this country where the U.S. military footprint is swiftly shrinking in Baghdad, Iraq, Dec. 1, 2011. Vice President Biden thanked U.S. and Iraqi troops for sacrifices that he said allowed for the end of the nearly nine-year-long war, even as attacks around the country killed 20 people, underscoring the security challenges Iraq still faces.
AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed

It began nine years ago with what the Pentagon called "shock and awe." And it ended Thursday with humble words. The vice president of the United States slipped into Baghdad unannounced to hand over the U.S. military headquarters to Iraq following nearly a decade of war.

Correspondent Jim Axelrod covered the beginning of the Iraq war for CBS News and was in Baghdad for the ceremonies Thursday. He reported on the country's uncertain future.

Watch the video below:

  • Jim Axelrod

    Jim Axelrod is the anchor of the Saturday edition of the "CBS Evening News" and a national correspondent for CBS News, reporting for the "CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley" and other CBS News broadcasts.