Obama: 'America's war in Iraq will be over' at year's end
U.S. soldiers with the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment participate in a patrol on July 15, 2011, in Iskandariya, Iraq.
October 21st, 2011
01:13 PM ET

Obama: 'America's war in Iraq will be over' at year's end

[Updated at 1:13 p.m. ET] U.S. President Barack Obama, announcing Friday that "the rest of our troops will come home by the end of the year," said: "After nearly nine years, America's war in Iraq will be over."

The new partnership with Iraq will be "strong and enduring" after U.S. troops leave the country, Obama said in the White House briefing room. The United States will continue its interest in a strong, stable Iraq after U.S. troops leave, the president said.

"Today I can say that our troops in Iraq will definitely be home for the holidays," Obama said.

About 39,000 U.S. troops are in Iraq, and the U.S. had wanted to keep from 3,000 to 5,000 troops in Iraq past 2011 to aid in training and security. But the current Status of Forces Agreement with Iraq dictates the U.S. troops leave by year's end, and the United States and Iraq had been unable to come to an agreement on key issues regarding legal immunity for U.S. troops who would remain in Iraq, effectively ending discussion of maintaining a significant American force presence beyond 2011.

Of the 39,000 troops in Iraq, only about 150, a negligible force, will remain to assist in arms sales.

The negotiations were strained following WikiLeaks' release of a diplomatic cable that alleged Iraqi civilians, including children, were killed in a 2006 raid by American troops rather than in an airstrike as initially reported by the U.S. military.

U.S. troops have already started the drawdown - a brigade from Fort Bliss, Texas, that was originally scheduled to be among the very last to leave Iraq was being pulled out of the country months ahead of its planned departure, military officials told CNN last week.

[Updated at 12:47 p.m. ET] The scheduled departure of virtually all U.S. troops from Iraq by the end of the year will allow the United States to "say definitively that the Iraq war is over," a White House official said Friday.

[Initial post] Virtually all U.S. troops will be out of Iraq by the end of the year as the current Status of Forces Agreement with Iraq dictates, a U.S. official told CNN Friday.

A small number of U.S. troops will be attached to the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.

This month, the United States and Iraq had been unable to come to an agreement on key issues regarding legal immunity for U.S. troops who would remain in Iraq after the end of the year, effectively ending discussion of maintaining a significant American force presence beyond 2011.

About 39,000 U.S. troops are in Iraq, and the U.S. wanted to keep from 3,000 to 5,000 troops in Iraq past 2011.

U.S. President Barack Obama is expected to make a statement about Iraq around 12:45 p.m. Friday, according to a White House official.

FULL STORY
soundoff (1,032 Responses)
  1. gg

    thanks for building roads, bridges,hospitals, schools, a 500 billion dollar embassy,and a special thank to president bush and dick cheney and the trillion dollars. but we don,t need you any-more

    October 21, 2011 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • some guy

      why don't you thank obama for taking so long to pull the troops. why don't you thank him for pulling the troops before election year

      October 21, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • moronkiller

      "500 billion dollar embassy" you're obviously stupid. go to sleep now child. its nap time.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Limbuagh is a liberal

      You mean the bridges, schools, and other buildings we ourselves obliterated in the first place, along with thirty thousands Iraqi soldiers and countless civilians as collateral damage?

      October 21, 2011 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • You can smell it

      Exactly – what did we gain from all of this? One very expensive Embassy.

      October 21, 2011 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Huh?

    Now, we all know that there were thousands of corporate military of the Blackwater type that went to Iraq. And thousands of us know that Colin Powell headed an corporation[Combat Services Ltd.] that recruited foreign trained troops , and paid them 5, 800 dollars per month to go AWOL and fight in Iraq. (a few nations even complained to the UN, for it is illegal to do this under international law) This news story only mentions actual US troops. What about the others?

    October 21, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Matt

      A company named "...Ltd." is actually a limited partnership, not a corporation. Pretty big distinction.

      October 21, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • woodofpine

      The private contractors... The locals get to eat them! Stay away from the local KFC for awhile.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Huh?

    @gg...Congress initially appropriated 87.5 billion dollars to rebuild Iraq after someone bombed them. Notice that all of Iraq's Caspian Basin oilwells were refurbished right-away, and the carlyle Group who owns the mineral rights have been profiting from oilsales to China for quite a few years. But Iraq has yet to be rebuilt. True, the largest foreign embassy has been built there. But many citizens of Iraq are still without basic infrastructure.

    October 21, 2011 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Huh?

    *largest foreign embassy in US history. (no-doubt, world history)

    October 21, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Huh?

    *most expensive too.

    October 21, 2011 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Andreas Moser

    Mission accomplished.

    October 21, 2011 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • cmk

      Absolutely, if the mission was to spend as much money as possible while burning the US economy to pieces. Thanks, GW!

      October 21, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • NoTags

      I recall hearing "mission accomplished" a few years ago. Now we need to stop wasting 4-6 billion $ a month and get our of Afghanistan also.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
  7. michaelfury

    http://michaelfury.wordpress.com/2011/04/19/the-oil-thing/

    October 21, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Huh?

    Colin Powel is incorporated all by himself, just as I am. Anyone in business for themselves, incorporates themselves to protect themselves from lawsuits. *Anyone who was victimized by frivilous lawsuits and learned this lesson the hard way, that is.

    October 21, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dave

      Yeah, and those corporate tax breaks you get when you do that don't hurt either, do they?

      October 21, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Philip

      @ Dave...well, what would happen if we gave those corporate taxbreaks to the avg. American who reads and comprehends at the 8th grade level* How many jobs would be created? And don't just blame corporate greed for our jobs going overseas. Any profit-based corporation hires according to ability. If a foreigner has better skills...a foreigner get's the job. How could a boardmember explain to stockholders why they hired a dummy when so many very inteligent people had applied for the position?

      "Dey terk are jarbs" is a funny line used in an episode of the TV cartoon 'South Park'. But it sums-up what I am saying. And really, we need to create about 100,000 jobs per month just to break even. (citizens who each year become old enough to join the job market. Giving them college educations only stalls this for four years or so.)

      *source: National Adult Literacy Survey 2002-2006, a five year, 14 million dollar study of adult US citizens.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
  9. michaelfury

    http://michaelfury.wordpress.com/2011/03/04/enemies-list/

    October 21, 2011 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Philip

    I just cant stop thinking about roots in Sadams hole

    October 21, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • 3rd grader

      Sure he can troll of Philip. He just gets reminded when stories like this pop-up from time to time. Like the Paul Wolfowitz post he just made. He made that from memory. He has probably made that quote over a thousand times online over the years. What grade are you in?

      October 21, 2011 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  11. michaelfury

    http://michaelfury.wordpress.com/2008/12/10/forgive-and-forgetforget/

    October 21, 2011 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Philip

    "There is a LOT of money to pay for this [war on Iraq] that doesn't have to be US taxpayer money...we are talking about a country that can finance it's own reconstruction, and relatively soo."–Paul Wolfowitz, dep. Defense Secretary for the Bush administration. March 27, 2003.

    Obviously, Paul Wolfowitz was lying to Congress. Both his commander in chief, and his commander in chief's father have ties with the Carlyle Group, and are personally profiting from the sales of what used to be Iraqi oil. Hallibiburton took our tax dollars, and instead of rebuilding Iraq, refurbished Caspian Basin oilwells. Halliburton put on a good show for US though...even running food services for troops. But Halliburton isn't a food service...they specialize in refurbihing old or damaged oilwells and bringing them back online using their patented in the 1950s methos, fracturing. (fraccing)

    Fortunately for honest Americans, the CIA has moved to Denver and has the goods on everyone who has lied to Congress, including Paul Wolfowitz. Look for Paul to be working his ass off in one of our corporate prisons soon.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. No Tea for Me Please

    Way to go President Obama! He can honestly say, "Mission Accomplished", twice in the same week! We know he's fighting for the common man and the troops want to come home.

    He's awesome!!

    October 21, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • some guy

      common man? what did Libya do for us? Did it spurt job growth? No. It did nothing. Next thing you know obama is going to invade syria and yemen and cost us more money

      October 21, 2011 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • No Tea for Me Please

      You don't want the troops to come home? News flash – that's why the GOP troops are overwhelmingly behind Ron Paul. Hmm, maybe they'll vote Dem now! :)

      October 21, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • please

      can't you see he just want s to get re-elected? if he doesn't do this he doesn't stand a chance

      October 21, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • GT66

      You're deluded if you think "the troops are coming home." First of all, we built a dozen military bases and a massive military fortress called "the US embassy" over there that will remain staffed until we're bankrupt. Second of all, these guys will be going right to Afghanistan or the next front Oceania faces – probably Syria.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • GLG

      Well said!

      October 21, 2011 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • GLG

      @ No Tea for Me Please: Well said. The president is awesome!

      October 21, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • sharky

      Actually sorry to say this is still a Mission Accomplished for Bush. Prior to Bush leaving office, the time when the shoe was thrown at him while in Iraq, he was making the deal with Iraq to pull troops out at this time. Obama is trying to take credit for something he did not even do at all. This pullout has not a thing at all to do with Obama, but was actually Bush's deal.

      October 21, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Brian

    no thanks to Sen Obama voting No to the surge which led to victory.. and the war he called Lost as Senator now he call won as President.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • No Tea for Me Please

      How many surges ago was that?? And what about "W" promising to get Bin Laden??

      October 21, 2011 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Oodoodanoo

      Well, that's the longest victory every. Spans two administrations? By your logic, Obama gets credit for keeping it going.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • GT66

      There was no victory. The Iraqi's are still getting blown up and we will still be staffing our military bases that we built (I think it is SIXTEEN bases) and the massive military fortress they like to call "embassy." We will be spending millions in Iraq for decades to come thanks to the Shrub and his war mongering cronies and oil concerns.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brian

      GT.... you forget we were ALREADY covering Iraq with our troop for TWELVE YEARS before we invaded... We would still be there. Iraq is safer than many US cities! LOL. Murder rate is higher in DC than Bahgdad.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cyrus

      Victory? I like your revisionist history Brian. Problem is that it's far from the truth. Iraq war was never about victory, and the surge had only temporarily minimized the insurgency. Just long enough for our contractors to build some vital pipe-lines.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • GT66

      Brian: We were covering them from other bases which are ALSO still there and need to be staffed and maintained. Now we have even more. Face it, Iraq is an occupied nation for at least the next couple decades.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
  15. GT66

    Riiiight, except for our massive military "embassy" and all the bases we built and occupy.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • No Tea for Me Please

      Thank Rummy and "W" for those

      October 21, 2011 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • GT66

      No Tea for Me Please: And thank Obama for keeping it going. So much for change we can believe in. (I voted for him btw. He sold us a bill of goods).

      October 21, 2011 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
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