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. Bart

    I'll believe it when I see it.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Tee

    The dude's a loser. What a goof.

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

      Don't you want our troops to come home?
      I know for a fact you probably have friends or family out there.

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

      It takes a lot of nerve to post something like that and call someone *else* a goof.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  3. forwardbias

    saddam could have been killed like gaddhafi.. Then we would not be wasting so many of our kids..

    October 21, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Yawn

    Worst president ever. Yet so many idiots follow the carrot wherever the stick leads it..

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

      Best President in 150 years.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • reason

      You apparently forgot about Bush.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • joe the patriot

      so true, first he invades iraq, then he lets osama slip free, then loses kadaffi, what a moron

      October 21, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Whatever

      He didnt send them their in the first place. Honestly i can careless who is president for this country, nothing will change anyway.. but give obama credit my goodness..he didnt start this mess to begin with.

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

      Go to what ever country has the best prez for you dummy.

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

      Why do you think he the worst?

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

      Right-wing troll alert. zzzzzzzzzzzz

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

    This is good news. Despite what everyone else says, I think that the war in Iraq was a great success. First the threat from Sadam Hussein was defeated. Secondly, the war in Iraq served as a magnet that attracted all the jihadis that had fled Afghanistan. There Al-Qaeda was defeated on the battlefield, but most importantly ideologically. After 9-11 there were many people in the middle east naming their kids Osama, and there was great support for al-qaeda. After witnessing what that ideology and the atrocities that they committed not only against westerners, but mainly on the other muslims, most people were turned off. There is very little support for al-qaeda now. On the other hand many people witnessed the purple ink-stained finger of those Iraqi's that faced the threats yet still voted for their future. Although it was not easy, people in the middle east realized that they would rather fight for their own version of democracy rather than the islamic fantasy that al-qaeda offered, and thus gave birth to the Arab spring. They decided that they did not want democracy to come to them via the west, but that they could achieve it themselves.

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

      "Despite what everyone else says, I think that the war in Iraq was a great success."

      The war in Iraq was an utter disaster. It was the first time in U.S. history that we were the aggressor in starting a war. We created millions of Iraqi refugees,

      "First the threat from Sadam Hussein was defeated."

      There was no threat. We now know that intel about WMDs was fabricated by an Iraqi to trick us into taking down Saddam Hussein. What kind of idiot thinks having us suckered into something like that is a good thing? We toppled the government of another sovereign nation, which we had no right to do.

      "Secondly, the war in Iraq served as a magnet that attracted all the jihadis that had fled Afghanistan."

      I can't believe someone is dumb enough to think that starting a war is justified by the idea it attracted fighters from another country.

      "There Al-Qaeda was defeated on the battlefield, but most importantly ideologically."

      Who told you this nonsense? al-Qaeda is an organization based in many countries. We did not defeat them ideologically with the war in Iraq.

      "After 9-11 there were many people in the middle east naming their kids Osama, and there was great support for al-qaeda. After witnessing what that ideology and the atrocities that they committed not only against westerners, but mainly on the other muslims, most people were turned off. There is very little support for al-qaeda now."

      Our unprovoked invasion of a Muslim country increased support for al-Qaeda and led to an increase in terrorist attacks on Americans outside the U.S.

      "On the other hand many people witnessed the purple ink-stained finger of those Iraqi's that faced the threats yet still voted for their future."

      It's nice that they now have a democracy, but it's not our place to make war around the world to impose our form of government on other countries, and the cost, both to us and the Iraqi people has been high.

      "Although it was not easy, people in the middle east realized that they would rather fight for their own version of democracy rather than the islamic fantasy that al-qaeda offered, and thus gave birth to the Arab spring."

      Uh, no. I don't know who told you this, but that's not what happened.

      "They decided that they did not want democracy to come to them via the west, but that they could achieve it themselves."

      Arab Spring was no so much a pro-democracy thing as it was a revolt against oppressive dictators.

      The war in Iraq was quite possibly the worst foreign policy blunder in U.S. history. That isn't changed by the fact that a few good things ultimately came out of it.

      “The defense policy of the United States is based on a simple premise: the United States does not start fights. We will never be an aggressor. We maintain our strength in order to defer and defend against aggression to preserve freedom and peace.” — Ronald Reagan

      October 21, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • skytag

      Oops, looks like I left a section unfinished:

      We created millions of Iraqi refugees. We lost more American lives than have been lost in all terrorist attacks combined, created tens of thousands of disabled veterans and veterans with emotional and mental problems that will affect them the rest of their lives. The total cost of the war and caring for its veterans could exceed a trillion dollars. Starting an unprovoked war cost us a lot of respect in the international community. Iraq's infrastructure still hasn't recovered from the destruction of the war. The insurgency in Iraq was largely caused by our foolish decision to disband the Iraqi military and put at 300,000 Iraqis with weapons and military training out of work so they couldn't provide for their families. Starting a war based on fabricated intel designed to trick us into taking down Saddam made us look like fools.

      If this is your idea of a great success I shutter to think what you would call an abysmal failure.

      October 21, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jerome

    Now they can pay us back !

    October 21, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Joel

    Oh this is interesting. His campaign was built around taking them out last year, and the year before.. then July 2011. I am ashamed to be a democrat. I can't wait for this lip-service joker to be out of office. Bush was a total idiot. Cousin Barry, is an even bigger idiot. I wish the DNC would NOT nominate him for a second a term. American is becoming a spineless country because of his policies. "CHANGE" – oh we got change all right. He failed to give us immigration reform, he failed to take the troops out of afghanistan, and iraq. He's starting a new war in Uganda, to which he just sent Troops. He failed to sell a healthcare bill that was seen as just and fair to all, he failed to reform tax code, he failed to even remotely lower the unemployment rate, he failed in job creation. The only thing he sputters about in his speeches is this... "WE NEED JOBS. WE NEED TO PUT AMERICANS BACK TO WORK, TO BUILD OUR HIGHWAYS, BRIDGES, AND INFRASTRUCTURE..." I'm so sick of his rhetoric. It makes me stoic. His speeches are written for him, (as they are with all Presidents), and he only speaks sufficiently when he has a telepromptor... So do not start with the.... how great of a public speaker he is. God he makes me sick.

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

      Get a life already!

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

      I guess "he failed" at all those things cause he sat and did nothing, right? There are no lobbyists. people with deep pockets, unscrupulous senators etc in Washington and in politics to hinder what he wanted to d, right?

      Don't get me wrong, I don't think he is perfect. I just think its irresponsible to not consider the barriers and hindrances that our leaders face when trying to implement change, especially change that is not welcomed by the new majority party in Washington. It's even more irresponsible to do so when trying to be a critic.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • rep

      I think several of the things you cite as promises weren't in fact promises. Check Politifact; most of Obama's are accurately tracked and described there. On Iraq for instance, all but two are rated as "promise kept" in full...one broken and one "stalled'. Neither of those last two are what you express disappointment over. I haven't checked your other claims, but I suspect there are more incorrect expectancies there as well.

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

      Sorry you are so sick. I think Obama has accomplished a lot, in spite of the war at home. And, Obama is the one bringing the war in Iraq to a close, certainly not a Republican.

      October 21, 2011 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  8. No Tea for Me Please

    :) :) :) :) :)

    MISSION(S) ACCOMPLISHED!! He can honestly say it! Twice in one week!! :) :) :) :) :)
    :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)

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

      Thanks Mr. President

      FOR
      . . .the "room-lighting" smile:
      FOR

      the mind that always thinks.
      For preventing a second Great Depression:
      For the humor:
      For bringing the number of women in the Supreme Court to 3.:
      For making the White House the "people's" house:
      For1.1 million jobs created in 2010 alone, more than the entire 8 years of George W. Bush:
      For the love of people:
      For the love of family:
      For America's First Lady:
      For Health Care reform:
      For leaving the past behind:
      For the world having respect for America, again:
      For quietly and calmly dealing with crisis after crisis, after crisis, after crisis, even if not being responsible for any of them:
      For being so "cool":
      For being fierce – when need be:
      For the capacity to know that you are, as we are, imperfect.
      .For having the intellect to be curious:
      For having the sense to not let it destroy you.
      For being an inspiration to so many the capacity to be compassionate:
      For saving the auto industry and at least 1.4 million jobs:
      For understanding the horrible price of war: loving the troops:
      For bringing 100,000 men and women back from Iraq:
      For facing the most difficult and loneliest job in the world with grace, dignity, honesty and guts in spite of so many "Haters":
      For being, in spite of all the hate, pettiness, racism, corruption and immaturity around, the most progressive and 'for the people' president in decades:
      For Being....................

      "MR. PRESIDENT"!

      FOR

      the mind that always thinks.

      For preventing a second Great Depression:

      For the humor:

      For bringing the number of women in the Supreme Court to 3.:

      For making the White House the "people's" house:

      For1.1 million jobs created in 2010 alone, more than the entire 8 years of George W. Bush:

      For the love of people:

      For the love of family:

      For America's First Lady:

      For Health Care reform:

      For leaving the past behind:

      For the world having respect for America, again:

      For quietly and calmly dealing with crisis after crisis, after crisis, after crisis, even if not being responsible for any of them:

      For being so "cool":

      For being fierce – when need be:

      For having the intellect to be curious:

      For the capacity to know that you are, as we are, imperfect..

      For having the sense to not let it destroy you.

      For the capacity to be compassionate:

      For being an inspiration to so many:

      For saving the auto industry and at least 1.4 million jobs:

      For loving the troops:

      For understanding the horrible price of war:

      *
      For bringing 100,000 men and women back from Iraq:
      *

      For facing the most difficult and loneliest job in the world with grace, dignity, honesty and guts in spite of so many "Haters":

      *
      For being, in spite of all the hate, pettiness, racism, corruption and immaturity around, the most progressive and 'for the people' president in decades:
      *
      And simply for this:

      For Being....................

      "MR. PRESIDENT"!

      ______________________________________________________________________
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      October 21, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Bimbo the Birthday Clown

    I bet that Barack Obama's in 7th Heaven now! Just like Hitler up tp 1942, Obama seems to have everything going his way but hopefully that will change!

    October 21, 2011 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • God

      Anyone who uses the terms Hitler or Nazi to denigrate someone is a real idiot pig...

      October 21, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • No Tea for Me Please

      What a twisted GOP mind.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • skytag

      Hitler and Nazi Germany at times offer useful analogies, but this obviously isn't one of those times. This is just a brainwashed idiot trying to associate Obama with Hitler because he has no legitimate basis for his obvious hatred of Obama. Rush Limbaugh would be proud.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
  10. gaucho420

    Great Decision...we can't afford it anymore, anyways. We've been there way too long to begin with.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Sarah34565

    America's war in Iran will begin.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • that guy

      We'll be greeted as liberators!

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

      Who do you think will start it, Romney or Perry?

      October 21, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  12. ctvoter23

    Obama 2012

    October 21, 2011 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Cosmos42

    Say what you want about Obama, but at the end of the day, he gets things done.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      I don't think he's been the best president or the worst, but he certainly seems to be putting foot to a$$ lately.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  14. OhBlahBla

    Cheap political move for his bid for re-election, that won't happen.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • skytag

      You just make a fool of yourself when you allow your hatred of Obama to drive you to say stupid stuff like this. We've drawn more than 100,000 troops out of Iraq since Obama took office in keeping with an agreement Bush worked out with the Iraqi government. This is a continuation of that process, not a cheap political stunt. If bashing the president for something you claim he will do is the best you have then he must be doing a pretty good job.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Larry

    He failed Americans in leading and changing the state of the economy for the better, now he is looking for cheap shots to aid in his re-election. What a buffoon!

    October 21, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lily.

      Hahaha. To save lives makes him a "baffoon?" Well I welcome that any day cause it's better than continuing the present trend and continuing to fight this war...less of our soldiers killed.....yay, Obama!

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

      Whether he failed at leading is a subjective judgement. He doesn't have magical powers to change the state of the economy, so that's basically criticizing him for failing to do the impossible. As for this being a cheap shot, you just make it clear what a brainwashed drone you are. We have drawn over 100,000 troops out of Iraq since Obama took office in keeping with a withdrawal agreement Bush worked out with the Iraqis. This is just a continuation of that process.

      It's obvious you have no legitimate criticisms of Obama, but you are determined to find a way to disparage him no matter what he does. This makes it obvious to me that you're clearly not objective in your assessments of him, but are instead brainwashed to believe he must be portrayed as the villain in all things. As a result your opinions of him only reflect your personal feelings about him, not an objective assessment of his performance as president.

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