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. Greenspam

    Criticisms from Republicans to begin in 3... 2... 1....

    October 21, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • x277

      I was just about to post the same thing but looks like you beat me to it!!!!!

      October 21, 2011 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Retired Military in San Antonio

      LOL.....no kidding!!!!

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

      AND GO!!!!....... here come the comments

      October 21, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • jOE

      ANOTHER SCREWUP oBAMA WILL CREATE

      October 21, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • dkcoke

      LOL that was funny

      October 21, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • KCJen

      thats a given...just might have to watch Fox news to see what they have to say. All i have to say is it's about time we bring our troops home!

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

      Pathetic, you honestly believe that people WANT war based on how you register to vote? I'm not understanding the pointless childish remarks.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Retired Military in San Antonio

      jOE = Idiot

      Doesn't even know how to operate the 'Caps Lock'....an obvious 'all-arounf loser......

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

      Cue the Dems to start the Bush bashing. 3... 2... 1... Interesting that this comes at a time when Obama's popularity is at an all time low and many polls show he may well end up a 1 term President.

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

      GOP critical comments please...

      October 21, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
  2. RedSea

    America's war? I don't think so. It was Bush's War.

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

      bUSH kICKED ASS AND oBAMA IS ONLY WITHDRAWING TO WIN VOTES

      October 21, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Retired Military in San Antonio

      Actually, it was Bush/Cheney/Rumsfield/Wolfowitz.....

      October 21, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Retired Military in San Antonio

      jOE = Idiot

      Doesn't even know how to operate the 'Caps Lock' (SMH).

      October 21, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • DinWeez

      jOE – bUSH kICKED ASS AND oBAMA IS ONLY WITHDRAWING TO WIN VOTES...someone on your side said that Obama is only following the plan he was handed by Bush...wHAT DO YOU SAY TO THAT?

      October 21, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mel

      jOE exactly whose butt did Bush kick besides all the dead US soldiers that died looking for Bin Laden in a country that had nothing to do with 911?

      October 21, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Sharp shooter

    One down, one to go.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  4. S.positive

    Thank God for you President Obama. The Lord will continue to vindicate you...

    October 21, 2011 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • mao tse dong

      wow ur delusional

      October 21, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Big_D

      So will my vote!

      October 21, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Aaron.Z

    GO OBAMA BRING THE TROOPS HOME!!!!! not to mention succeed where the last moronic president utterly and pathetically FAILED! The red tide of the bush administration is finally beginning to wash away.

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

      Really? The economy is in markedly worse shape than when Bush was president....and it's not close. I understand Bush stunk but Obama has done nothing he said he was going to do. Nothing. Don't be a party parrot. Just use your head. That goes for both sides.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill C

      Actually Mike, Obama has done almost everything he said he was going to do, which is why the economy is in the toilet. He passed Obamacare, bailed out the banks, and for two years had a blank check from the Democratic congress who gave him nearly everything he wantted, including the failed stimulus plan(s). The problem is not that he didn't do what he promised. The problem is he did.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • DinWeez

      Mike, let me see, how should I say this? You are a liar! There, that fits!

      October 21, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Big_D

      Read a book and stop listening to FOX Mike. You look like a moron when you blame a decades of overspending on the guy that has only been there three years.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Big_D

      Bill C, Obama wanted nationalized healthcare and we ended up with Liebermancare thanks to the GOP filibuster. Just be honest, for once!

      October 21, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mel

      I love when people blame the current economy on Obama. They forget that the first round of bailouts, the ones that went out with no oversight what so ever went out while Bush was president. The bailouts that companies used to buy jets and remodel offices they own in other countries. I am not saying it is all Bush's fault either but when we were already in a recession when Obama took over its a little hard to blame him for it.

      October 21, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Alina77

    So many people wanted to say these words, but Obama said it.
    Did any one notes, where President didn't have to deal with the Republicans, he did SUPER WELL?
    Obama 2012!

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

      Is this English?

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

      You went to public school, didn't you?

      October 21, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Chris

    Good! We need to pull all of them out of there... as well as Aphganistan... I have always thought that builiding a "Little America" in the Middle East wouldn't work. A theocracy and a democracy just don't work well together.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  8. cellblock131

    Good job staying the course that was set for you before you came into office!

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

      Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-what a moronic statement...Obama is anything but Bush on foreign policy...

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

      Stop kidding yourself! You need to read more for yourself and stop digesting the fabrication from Fox and the likes. What a fool!

      October 21, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Retired Military in San Antonio

    About freakin' time!!!!!

    Never should've been there to begin with!

    October 21, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jim (retired AF colonel)

    Another very positive milestone for President Obama.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  11. jOE

    bIG mISTAKE AS EVERYTHING ELSE OBAMA DID

    October 21, 2011 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Retired Military in San Antonio

      OK genius.....so how...EXACTLY...is leaving Iraq a mistake?

      (This oughta be good...)

      October 21, 2011 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
  12. zip

    Obama in 2016

    October 21, 2011 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
  13. JT

    "So this is Christmas...and a Happy New Year...War is over...War is over".

    October 21, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
  14. us1776

    Finally we end this stupid Bush-fiasco war-for-profit !!

    .

    October 21, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Big_D

    Now we will see some deficits going down! Time to leave Afghanistan and every other waste of taxpayer dollars that Bush got us into. If we could get rid of the 390 billion a year in contractors which includes 240 billion in just Iraq and Afghanistan we can reduce our deficit by a trillion every 2.5 years.

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