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. tina

    THANK GOD. i'm so happy to hear this, bring them all home to be with their loved ones. I'm glad to have a president that cares for all citizens of the US instead of just the rich. 95% of americans work for the wealthy 5% yet they reap all the benefits. This war has caused our country so much pain and cost us alot more. Maybe at the first of the year we can start to see some things turn around for the better and life can improve for us harding working people here at home. GOD BLESS our troops, and their families.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  2. PartylikeaDemocrat

    Mr. Cain said what you need is my 2.2.2. Plan. Two strong candidates runing, in Two thousand twelve and maybe, Two times he'll win!................. OBAMA 2012!

    October 21, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Alina77

    I just watched for about half an hour Fox News just to see what are they saying about Pulling our Troops from Iraq> THEY SAY NOTHING, just where is baby Lisa, Obama fails jobs bill, Obama bad in polls, taxpayers paying more and all kinds of shiiiit , just not about Obama's "Troops are going to be home by Christmas". THIS IS A BID YEAR OLD Darn..deal you ....@##s Over 4000 American troops were killed there.....
    People that watching Fox, what do you really know? Because those guys really think that you are bunch of brainless ideologists? Are you?

    October 21, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Open your eyes

      It appears to be the main story on the fox news website. Before spewing out nonsense, you should consider that the news was being prepared for announcement.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
  4. No Tea for Me Please

    Obama's jobs bill would stop the GOP's hallowed "job creators" from sending American jobs overseas. ;)

    Jobs the troops will need. ;)

    But politics and winning elections is more important to the GOP than our troops. ;)

    October 21, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  5. paulr50

    The withdrawl of US troops from Iraq was part of the Status of Forces Agreement signed by President Bush in 2008 with the Iragi goernment. Pres Obama had nothing to do with it.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alina77

      And your mama had nothing to do with your birth too.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Paqrat137

    Now I read that this was all per-ordained by Bush, that Obama is just following his time line – Didn't take long for the Repubs and Faix News people to let the war monger president take the credit. This is a sick, sick country and the problem is that because it will be repeated over and over again – it will become the big lie:
    GEORGE BUSH IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE 2011 PULL OUT – not Barack Obama! -

    October 21, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Linda

      What else could they do? Admit they are mongers? The truth will set them free..literally. Bravo, Mr. President OBAMA.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Meech

      Such sad little people these Right wingers can be.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Al

    Great! I hope these soldiers do not expect to find jobs.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • No Tea for Me Please

      Because the GOP fought Obama's jobs bill that would stop American jobs going overseas.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • lroy

      Not sure if the GI Bill still exists. They'll get priority before the rest of us for any available position.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Tommie Jones

    You know it's a shame to she so many hartless people. The troops are coming home. That's good news. Oh that's right some heartless people don't have any feelings so they can't understand what it means to leave a combat area. But that's ok wasn't it the heartless mean spirit GOP put us in two wars. ummm. whos the blame?

    October 21, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Linda

      Amen! Amen again!

      October 21, 2011 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
  9. 00hillbilly

    We were kicked out DUH read the news

    October 21, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • No Tea for Me Please

      Fox play on words. Obama planned it and it happened. He set those gears in motions years back.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • MOJarry

      The US has never been "kicked out" of any conflict. The leaders have seen that further involvement is not in our National interests. Thank you Mr. President Obama for ending this obviously futile war.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Big_D

    Osama – Dead, Gadhafi – Dead, Iran – isolated, Iraq – Done, the deficit drops every time Obama accomplishes one of these goals and the GOP can only complain about it. It just shows the benefit of a competent president vs. a GOP president. OBAMA 2012! We can cut the deficit by 240 Billion a year just by eliminating Cheney's outsourcing company in these two wars without hurting our military or Social Security.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • MOJarry

      Yes, Obama for president in 2012!

      October 21, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  11. US Marine

    OBAMA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 21, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
  12. paulr50

    Ohh, and don't forget the 30,000 troops Obama surged to Afghanistan. Mr Nobel Peace Prize winner is a war monger.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Ronster

    Too bad it took an upcoming election for Obama to make this decision.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Marshall Tucker

    Very happy to see our young men and women coming home were they belong. Its time to build America again, let the world take care of itself for a while. Only pray that they will be home for a long time and not deployed to Iran in the next year or two.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Anthony

    Why dont you just be happy our troops are coming home? Why do you have to tarnish THAT.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • KrissyNTX

      I'm a tea party loving libertarian and I am very happy. I see a lot of hate being slung from both sides. People aren't happy unless there is drama.

      October 21, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • KrissyNTX

      I'm a tea party loving libertarian who will be voting republican b/c I believe in small government. I am very happy and feel Obama did a great thing. I think he is a nice person but we have different views on so many issues which is why I would never vote for him. I'm offended race has to continually be brought up.

      October 21, 2011 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
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