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. stannard

    So sad you could say that about Nixon as he signed away the lives of many young men by backdoor policy of if you let us leave in say, four year.. 69-74 ... This agreement was pro-offered by the past president G Bush an is in line with his time line. Thank the men an women of the US armed forces at the very least, or you are the sad one
    Me I am glad, I knew already we can not fight for other nations freedom, they must do it for themselves..

    October 21, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
  2. No Tea for Me Please

    The Obama haters need to keep their negative comments to themselves today. ;)

    This is a happy day for our proud troops. Making disparaging comments today is just like screaming, "LET EM' DIE!!" ;) ;)

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

      fact: anything a libtard does is wrong. another fact: republicans are awesome and moral and always right.

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

      I have nothing but the greatest respect and admiration for our military personnel , and nothing but disdain for the commander in chief . I hope it's not another lie , meant to give him a boost in the polls .

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

      Perhaps BOTH the Obama lovers as well as the Obama haters should *hush* today....

      And just be glad the troops will be home.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Captain Red

    Did we Win ?? or will we be back in 20 years to finish it ?? Are we moving them from Iraq to Africa... oh yes we are, you just have not told us yet.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Lori

    YEAH!!!!!!!! Thanks Obama

    October 21, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  5. iduna

    Finally some of Bush's and the Republicans mess is getting cleaned up.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  6. LoopHolio

    Way to find a media loop hole Obama, take 'um all out of Iraq and send them to Kuwait

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

    The fact he announced it on a Friday, the worst news day to release things, means this is not political timing. He could have delayed this announcement to Monday if he wanted people to remember it. Maybe he should have.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  8. TJN

    I am overly joyed for the service men and women who will be able to join their Loved ones for the Holidays.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Michael

    HAH, last minute efforts to get re elected. This is good news though, but he still needs to go.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  10. sanjosemike

    OIL, OIL OIL!!! Everyone on the political left proclaimed loudly after the Iraq War started. (I know that many of you will insist that our present withdrawal program is because we have a Democrat president.)

    Wrong again. The US never intended to stay in Iraq. Even the Bush Administration was planning on troop withdrawals.

    Oh yes, one more thing: Iraq sells its oil to China, not the US.

    sanjosemike

    October 21, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  11. lovelokest

    About time! Thank you troops for all of your service!

    October 21, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  12. KY GAL

    I am so glad Obama is our President and will be proud to vote him in again

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

      I'd vote for daffy duck before Obama

      October 21, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  13. ReallyReal

    So "the rest of our troops will come home by the end of the year"? Home to Afghanistan.

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

    If obama says it , it must be true . I believe everything I read or see in the media :~)

    October 21, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Bill

    The only reason that all the troops are coming home is that Obama & Co. asked that the troops be protected from arrest or any penalties for anything they might do or act they might commit, and the Iraqi's told Obama to go screw himself. Obama talks a good story, but in order to find the truth you have to look past his rhetoric.

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

      That is pretty standard for troops in what is classified as a hostile zone. Let's say they don't have this protection and they go out on a patrol. They take fire from a building and they storm it. During the process they kill 2 militants but they also, inadvertently, kill a civilian. Without protection the Iraqi government could bring them up on manslaughter charges.

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

      Status of Forces Agreements are crucial and must be hashed out. Obviously Iraq would not meet our requirements, so Obama told them basically to F- off. My hat is off to him for this. Get our troops out of there now. And btw, I am a 22 year Army veteran.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32