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. Annie

    He made a promise and kept it. What's the problem now? What does it take to believe in him?

    October 21, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • THINK

      Amen my brother

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

      There is always something to complain about from the faux news crew so I'm sure we'll be hearing lots of complaints in the next few days. Just like how they complained about how Obama handled Libya.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • notduped

      Please... This is Politics at its best, he is a sinking ship and he is trying to look relevant! You cant make up for your 4 years of inaction, it`s a little to late for that now.. "Anyone Else" 2012 !!

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

      Am I going crazy? Does this article not say that the US was asking for immunity to keep our troops their? Does it not say that the Iraqi's would not agree to immunity? So someone please explain how now, after 4 years, after failed negotiations with the Iraqi's to keep us there longer, that Obama is keeping any promise? What if the Iraqi's agreed to giving our troops immunity? Would all of you people still be thanking Obama? I'm going to go out on a limb here and say.......no? I'm drawing this conclusion from the fact that, had Iraq agreed to immunity, Obama would have kept troops there.

      October 21, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Austin

    YES! I cannot wait to see them come home! Good job obama.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
  3. citizenmn

    President Obama is, once again, cleaning up a mess left behind by W. Thank you, Mr. President.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
  4. cm

    Obama 2012!
    Live with it or leave!

    October 21, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jyl

    Just doing what he promised!!! Obama 2012!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 21, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shayne

      So he promised that he would be unable to convince the Iraqi government to let us stay longer? Hmm....I don't remember that.

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

      This is just an attempt to stir the pot for re-election

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

      You mean doing what W started

      October 21, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Zaphod2010

    Finally. Another mess Obama (without the Navy Seals this time) cleans up after the vilage idiot from
    @frankross – arrogance? You can't hear what he is saying? Miracle ear might work for you.
    MESSAGE IS THAT WE ARE GETTING OUT OF A COUNTRY WE SHOULD HAVE NEVER INVADED!!!
    CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?????

    October 21, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
  7. SixDegrees

    Translation – "Oh, crap! Election's coming up! I better make it sound like I did something, and hope nobody pays attention to the details!"

    October 21, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Annie

      You really don't see what he's done? really? WOW!

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

      @ Anne – Please... This is Politics at its best, he is a sinking ship and he is trying to look relevant! You cant make up for your 4 years of inaction, it`s a little to late for that now.. "Anyone Else" 2012 !!

      October 21, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jim

    The only reason they are coming home is because Iraq quite rightly wouldn't give our troops full immunity from any criminal actions. Where does this hubris come from?

    October 21, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
  9. jmomaha

    President Bush signed this troop withdrawl agreement with the Iraqis before he left office. Obama is just following the agreement so don't blame him. It's about time we end these wars anyway.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
  10. No Tea for Me Please

    🙂 🙂 🙂
    Today is a proud and happy day for our victorious troops. Making derogatory comments today makes the GOP trolls sound like their conservative Westboro brethren of haters. 😉

    October 21, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Shayne

    I can't help but notice people proclaiming: "Thank God for Obama. Bring'em home. etc." Did you people not actually read the article? We're pretty much being kicked out by the Iraqi's. But yes, Thank you Obama. Thank you for being unable to convince the Iraqi government to let us stay there longer.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • No Tea for Me Please

      If you don't want the troops to come home you might be a Westboro member

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

      I am a troop. Thats not what I said. Stop praising Obama when this isn't by his choice. He had no choice. Educate yourself and stop grazing with the sheeple.

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

      Shayne. Why are you so negative? be happy that your friends are coming home. He did not start the war but instead he's bringing them home to their families and friends. For that I'm grateful...

      October 21, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shayne

      That was a really sick burn though.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shayne

      .....What?... How am I being negative? I'm stating a fact. This has nothing to do with my feelings about people coming home. I'm saying: Scroll your page up, and read. Obama isn't bringing our troops home, Iraq is sending us home. If he were actually bringing the troops home, then he would bring them home from Afghanistan also. The reason the troops are coming home is not because he wants them home, it's because the Iraqi's not allow us to stay in their country any longer. Stop spinning this into something it is not. This is a really simple interpretation.

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

    Glad to hear that our troops will be coming home! Obama has now added ending the Iraq war to his accomplishments. Well done!

    October 21, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Will

    Obama withdrawing to get votes? For political points? You idiots. Elections are not for another year. If it had been a republican president doing this you'd be waving your 'mission accomplished' banners. I simply wonder what the comments would be if this happened last year this time. Would it be 'oh obama's trying to stockpile political points for the 2012 election'
    They are pulling out at the end of this year because they didn't reach an agreement. It's that simple. I'm not even being harsh, it's common sense people. Read the article

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

      Thank god someone else can read. I feel like I'm in la la land with all of these comments.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  14. patriot

    Thank you, Mr. President! You have my vote for the next election! FOUR MORE YEARS!!

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

      MINES TOO!

      October 21, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  15. PartylikeaDemocrat

    Saddam gone, Osma Bin Laden Gone, Gahdafi gone.............BUSH gone!.......................... OBAMA 2012!

    October 21, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • No Tea for Me Please

      Mission Accomplished!! For real!! Twice in one week!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

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