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. Harry

    Lets celebrate by trying Bush and Cheney on war crimes then toss them away in a dark prison for the rest of their lives.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ricke1949

      We never should have gone to war there. I am so happy we are out. What did we gain? Only time will tell. What did we lose?
      Many brave men and women and billions of dollars?
      Are we safer? I am not sure.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • SteveInDenver

      Are we safer? Certainly NOT because we took out one of bin laden's enemies. Yes, righties, hussein was a secular dictator who opposed religious extremists; al quada had no operations in iraq until we took out hussein. And, as one of Iran's most hated enemies, taking him out made Iran much more influential in the region.

      We are safer, but only because President Orambo is at the helm, 1100+ al quaeda leaders dead in 2.5 years, bush killed 52 in 7.5 years.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Paqrat137

    This is what we have waited for: an end. Unfortunately I fear we will now hear from the Republican Right how now is not the time, how we are abandoning a "friend", how this is premature, how a date-certain will encourage the opposition to re-start the violence, and any number of the cries they will put up.

    OK-yes the date certain argument may have merit BUT we have spent many American lives and put our country into debt to do our best to rebuild a country we helped take apart. This time there is nothing more we can do. Our country is suffering because of this voluntary and ill-conceived war and we need to put an end to it. Will ther be violence? Yes, but if we kept our troops there another year, another 5 years, when they left, thee would still be violence.

    If you agree that we have done all we can, we have spent our treasure to repair the damage we did, then you cannot help but celebrate this announcement. IT is time for the US to pull out of Iraq. If they cannot govern themselves, police themselves, defend themselves against enemies foreign and domestic, it is not for the US lack of trying to teach them.

    But I pity those 39,000 soldiers coming home...what are they coming home to: look what has happened to the country they fought for – look at the fact they will probably join the ranks of un- or under employed. A national tragedy is about the end, and another one begin, right here at home.

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

      Completely agree – can't wait to hear from the righties.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • ...

      it is not the "right" that wants to continue the war. it is individual people who want it, just as individual people have differing ideas in any group. obama took too long to end the war. everyone already knew the whole war was based on mistakes, if not lies, and he let the troops stay there during his term. many soldiers died, and our country's financial situation was worsened. he then involves the united states in at least 2 more conflicts. nobel peace prize my ass.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  3. cindy lo who

    if its an oblama decision ...it must be wrong

    October 21, 2011 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • No Tea for Me Please

      Sour puss – you're not happy that our proud troops are coming home?

      Why don't you join Westboro?

      October 21, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • MJL

      Are you serious? Or was that tongue in cheek?

      October 21, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
  4. 4F

    Obama sticks our nose in Libya and more recently Angola. And yet he allows deep cuts to our military budget. What a commander and chief!

    October 21, 2011 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • MJL

      Laughable. The military budget went up. STOP PAYING ATTENTION TOFOX NEWS.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • steve buck

      just can't stand can u. hahahahaha

      October 21, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • SteveInDenver

      Yes, what a commander in chief! We don't need the same military we needed to fend off the Soviet Union. Continuing to build cold war weapon systems is foolish; more sensible military cuts are needed.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rigel54

      Obama won the war in Libya as clearly as Bush blew the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (after the CIA won Afghanistan quite brilliantly). It is the bankrupting of this country by a badly executed, stupidly unnecessary war in Iraq and unprecedentedly low taxes for the rich that has made cuts necessary everywhere.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • keeth in cali

      He called Libya exactly as it happened: NATO-led, France and Britain led within NATO, US support, no Americans on the ground, give room for the rebels to take out Gadhafi themselves. How did Bush/Cheney and company call Iraq? We'd be greeted as liberators, oil profits will pay for way, WMDs are a slam dunk, and we'll be out in weeks or months, not years. The got it ALL WRONG.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Carolyn

    "...it's just a move to help Obama to try to keep his job."
    Good Lord, that's foolish.
    Thank God and President Obama that this hideous conflict will be over. I am sick to death of seeing kids coming home with their arms and legs blown off.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. RES

    OBAMA – Mission Accomplished!

    October 21, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. OsamaBinLandenWasDeadLongAgo

    whoaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa, a lot of people are going to be loosing billions big time. Hopefully another 'kennedy' does not happen in the near future. You all know how it is in this country.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. JOE

    Thanks Mr. President! Now let's arrest and indict GWB and Dick Cheyney on war crimes and hand them over to the ICC in the Hague. I could just imagine how Dick Cheyney would plea...Well, your magistrate I'm not guilty because "I have no regrets whatsoever." And GW? Well your magistrate I'm not guilty because I was just settling a family feud for my dad.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ricke1949

      The House and the Senate voted yes on this too. Only 8 Senators out of 100 took the time to read the 150 page classified CIA report before they sent our young men and women overseas. Sad.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • SteveInDenver

      Point taken, Ricke. However, there were 82 votes for the Iraq invasion, not 92. And, while they were ALL certainly negligent in their duties, most were the deceived, not the deceivers. the shrub and vader pushed the war; the congressional reps that voted for it aren't in the same class.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Denker

    What?? They never found those massive amount of lies, uh, weapons of mass destruction Cheney and Bush said where there.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • SteveInDenver

      Yes, I remember rummy saying "we know right where they are, in the norther area around tikrit". What a bunch of liars.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
  10. AE

    Makes you wonder what made him wait so long doesn't it? was it not one of his plans to get the troops out immediately, but he waited closer to the end of his term, this could have been done a few years ago.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Paqrat137

      Oh come on! Why can't you just allow that it is the right thing to do and not attribute it to politics. Man, your type of people can not give credit to anything Obama, can you?

      October 21, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • AE

      It really doesn't concern me who made the decision, I'm simply saying it could have been done earlier, besides isn't this politics he made moves to better his chances of winning and its the type of people who don't see it as a political move who are just quick on emotions that wont question it.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Ethan

    If republicans have been in office... we'd still be fighting.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Rigel54

      And losing. Badly. And expensively. And their cronies would be lapping at the trough.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  12. omemario

    GG you are the type of people who no matter what whine cry attack or spit as long you don't have to do any effort. so suck it.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Max in NY

    However...we will leave just enough troops/bases for the military industrial complex to maintain its profits and enough to secure any/all oil fields

    October 21, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Joe D.

    Prioreality, Obama is simply keeping a campaign promise 3/4 into his presidency. I know that you as a rightwing sceptic are likely not one to have experienced such a thing from the candidates for whom you have voted. But, if it must be an act of political posturing, then I must say that killing Bin Laden, killing Gadaffi, liberating Libya and ending a 9 year war in Iraq do say quite a bit in a timely manner. Doesn't hurt that home builders have also seen the first bit of optimism in several years. Not a bad trumpet to sound. What can the laughable GOP candidates say to rise above these facts.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  15. ERIC

    Great News!!! It looks like its going to be 4 more years of Obama hating for all you haters. Its going to be funny watching all yall cry for the next 4 years. Entertainment for the masses. Dance puppets, dance! Hahahahahaha!!!!!!

    October 21, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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