August 31st, 2010
09:17 PM ET

Obama to U.S.: 'Operation Iraqi Freedom is over'

(CNN) - President Obama declared that "the American combat mission in Iraq has ended" in his prime-time address Tuesday.

"Operation Iraqi Freedom is over, and the Iraqi people now have lead responsibility for the security of their country," he said.

The mission officially drew to a close at 5 p.m. Tuesday. Obama said the winding down of the war in Iraq means it's time for citizens to unite and build a better life for all Americans.

"Our most urgent task is to restore our economy and put the millions of Americans who have lost their jobs back to work," he said in his nationwide address from the Oval Office.

"... This will be difficult. But in the days to come, it must be our central mission as a people and my central responsibility as president."


Filed under: Afghanistan • Barack Obama • Iraq
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Erin Leu

    Ok, I'm really hoping that this will turn out well for the Iraqi civilians. I really don't think we should have invaded Iraq in the first place. This reminds me of Vietnam-when we left, everything fell apart. I just hope, for the sake of Iraq's citizens, that the country will be able to run smoothly without us there.

    August 31, 2010 at 9:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Army Wife

      We're still there and continuing to deploy there.

      August 31, 2010 at 10:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • finally,thankyou

      YES! Finally someone understands!

      September 2, 2010 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Nene

    I think its about time, we have our own problems here, and there security is there issue, thanx obama for being smart and bringing our soilders home. god bless america.

    August 31, 2010 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse |
  3. jeniffer

    Hopefully he keeps his word! I'm actually glad with this agreement innocent soldiers dieing every month! About. Time he put a stop to it

    September 1, 2010 at 12:29 am | Report abuse |
  4. santos torres-retired

    Considering how we got involved in this country, we should be grateful that we have a president who had the courage to complete what another president though we needed to do as a country. Though it was not popular, though he had not sign on to this engagement. If we love and believe that this is our heavenly father's country, the united states of america. Then please then let us united together as americans and prayerfully support this president, for the good of this country, even we our differences. United we can do anything. God please continue to bless america.

    September 1, 2010 at 7:57 am | Report abuse |
    • finally,thankyou

      so true.

      September 2, 2010 at 9:47 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Texan

    This is just bama playing on words.....we still have 50,000 troops there in harms way. Bring them home bama, THEN it will be over. Loser.

    September 1, 2010 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
  6. Charlie Oliphant

    An ill advised war in the first place, surpassed only by an incompetent ending. The freedom seeking peoples of the region are doomed. I thought we couldn't do any worse than W., I was wrong. I think a lot of us are experiencing "Buyer Remorse".

    September 1, 2010 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  7. Nunya

    I really should not be one to judge in this what we call a day of glory. But Bush should have never stuck his nose in to begin with. DONT GET ME WRONG. I would never vote obama into office. Its people like him and Bush that have me to the point that I will never vote again. Most all of them will retire way happier than I ever will for sure. And thats what makes me feel the choices we have at the poles are bad, and you have to pick just by the bull they feed you. Talk is cheap. You say, you say. But you never do. To many other people have the final say over what goes on. We worry about china korea irak afganastan. And sit here and let our nation go to crap. We have made it so cheap and easy for everything to be shiped here from over seas that companies are moving there and leaving us unemployed. And still making a profiet. It's so bad that we have to borrow money from other countries just to stay a float. Considering it's the US that made them rich. Irak will suffer now for our actions cause obama need closure

    September 1, 2010 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
  8. RegularMommy

    Well said, and I hope for the best. We all should remember what a horrific job it is being president. Everybody hates you, you never get a pat on the back and you deal with red
    tape where it seems nothing gets done. Best to remember, you don't know someone till you've walked in their shoes.

    September 1, 2010 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Don

    Throughout history, no war ever really ended on a good note. As time progresses, wars get uglier and nastier. Yeah, we still have 50,000 troops in Iraq; but now, we can maybe find a way to bring them a sense of civility with real electricity, running water, and peace. I hope this doesn't end up being like Vietnam ended after those last troops come home. I also hope that no matter who is President in the future after Barrack H. Obama leaves office never invades another country over false pretenses. I also hope that our country returns to the ideas of the Geneva Convention; I don't understand why we allowed ourselves disavow those sacred articles. Opps...that was because Richard Cheney said we should. Why isn't that man arrested as a war criminal?

    September 1, 2010 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Nunya

    seriously... Do you really think obama or any other president is going to be able to fix this mess that sept. 11 created to start with... I know there is alot of hurt soles from devestating blows, and the deaths of so many. I also know that the people involved in that mess had literaly no respect for mankind, or there own people... But does that give us the right to go somewhere with the same intention. To clean out the bad... And kill the good by accident in the process. I see people in the states that do so many heroic things for a total stranger. Like the miners.. Everyone is working very hard to get them out safe... But yet we send our people over to other countries that has never done one thing wrong in there life... Just to get killed for what our government thinks is the right thing to do... If you ask me... I think we as the people are so tied up in political bull That we tend to neglect the real problems at hand. Let's get our own country back to normal. Or we could lose it. Think about it.

    September 2, 2010 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
  11. Yeah Right

    Yeah, If it has come to an end, then tell me why my fiance is deploying On sept. 11 for a year tour in Iraq???? It will never end. There will constantly be troops killed, for what. Stupidity. There sent there to help put their lives back together, meanwhile the lives of their own families are turned upside down here.

    September 2, 2010 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
  12. Its just BS

    I'm in the reserves and have a scheduled 6 month tour in IRAQ, although i havent recieved any terminationnotice im scheduled for OCT 16. Il give my cheif a call.

    September 2, 2010 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • dave

      My limited understanding is that technically the combat mission is over (despite Bush telling us mission accomplished years ago), but "supporting" troops will be staying to help facilitate the handover. The news story I saw on this conveniently left out any specific numbers.

      September 2, 2010 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
  13. finally,thankyou

    I must say that our President is doing a tremendous job of assessing situations where and when they need to be assessed, and I commend him greatly for that. Also, if Bush told us the "mission was accomplished years ago", YEARS ago, then why didn't the mission end? Some of us everyday Americans must get our facts straight. The war WILL be over very soon, and most of you people aren't even appreciating that! So, please let's thank our president for what he has done and move on. He has done an awesome job at ending this "combat mission", (really should be called killing spree), and we should all be thankful, not prideful.

    September 2, 2010 at 9:42 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jorma

    Hello my name is Jorma,

    I am a 35yo Father of two wonderful teenagers (A boy and a Girl) and a Husband to my beautiful Wife of 16 years; we are preparing for our transition into the Military life!

    I am currently preparing for Basic Combat Training and am planning to become an Explosive Ordinance Disposal Specialist for the U.S. Army. During the last few weeks I have lost my job and we have started to get behind on our Bills, I also just found out that I will not receive my first pay check from the Army until the middle of November????

    I simply do not know what we will do to stay afloat; I cannot handle another day of seeing my wife cry about losing our home or the vehicle she loves so much, I have been looking for some type of work for quite some time and most of the places that would even give me an interview would not hire me since I will be leaving in October, I guess they want someone long term. I figured it out though, if I can raise around $4000 to $5000 we will be able to keep the bills paid up and afford for me to fly home for Christmas during my Basic Training! Also I will be able to have a few dollars left to help rent a Moving truck for when I can move my wife and children to the Base with me.

    So, in closing if you can find it in your heart to spare what you can whether it’s a $1 or $20 and if I can get this message to enough people we just might be able to survive these challenging times! Please if you cannot spare any money, pray for us and ask that we make it through these trying times and do not lose everything we have worked so hard to provide for our children and well being.

    Thank you!

    Jorma J. Douglas

    there is a link to help on my website

    September 3, 2010 at 12:18 am | Report abuse |