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. neastsider

    It took Pres Obama's policy/strategy to help get rid of Binladen and now to get rid of Khadaffi and today to annouce all the troops out of Iraq by year's end. The terrorist teabaggers must be peeing in their teabags These braindead teabagger repugs will never be able to bring themselves to give Pres Obama the credit he is rightfully due.

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

      While Obama certainly deserves some credit for killing Osama Bin Laden and to a lesser extent the ousting of Gadhaffi, a lot of the information that led to the discovering of Bin Laden's location came during the Bush administration. As a matter of fact it was the direct result of "enhanced" interrogations at Guantonomo Bay, the same techniques and prison that liberals wanted outlawed and shutdown. To give Obama credit and comend him you must also comend and give credit to the "enhanced" interrogation techniques used and Guantonomo Bay itself, as well as GW Bush. Can you do that? Or is your hypocrosy going to show through?

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

      America is victorious and the conservatives are weeping. Disloyalty is a conservative value?

      October 21, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rigel54

      While I believe Rich is pretty close to wrong on all counts, I believe Obama is more to credit for the Libyan success than Osama. While I'm pretty sure any of the significant information was not obtained during Bush administration, and had nothing to do with their tortures, any president would probably have ordered that raid (though Bush was kissing up to Pakistan so hard he might not have). Bush would never have chosen Obama's Libyan strategy, which involved cooperation with allies, diplomatic manuevering, discrete secret operations, and selective military actions. He would either have done nothing or launched another expensive failed war.

      October 21, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • _______

      Rich is completely right, some people just dont get what needs to be done. Bring back Guantonomo Bay

      October 21, 2011 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Big_D

      The Pakistan intelligence was not provided by enhanced interrogation. Keep lying, at least you believe yourself.

      October 21, 2011 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
  2. mexoplex

    HA HA! now what you conservatives going to complain about?

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

      They'll complain that Obama should have done it Faster!

      October 21, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paqrat137

      They already have!

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

      I am a conservative (mostly) and I am not complaining. I personally think the timing is right and do not think it should have been done sooner or later. I do however think we should ramp up the war in Afghanistan and finish it off properly so that we can leave there as well. To be more specific, so we can leave there victoriously.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
  3. jroll1

    TAKE THAT TEA BAGGERS!!!!!!!

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

      Big mistake....Obumbler strikes again.

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

      I'm sure you want another surge, don't you James. Keep those guys over there!!! Support our troops!!!! Aren't you sitting on your behind while they take care of it for you? great support. please don't vote.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paqrat137

      Hey, James Dean – Tell us all WHY!

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

      To your commenter below: How is that a mistake? Going there in the first place was a mistake.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anthony

      JamesDean.. why do you hate America? Cant you just be cool for a second. YOU would probably complain that we ended WW2 if it didnt fit your political standings. Get a life, get a clue, get off the computer and go outside. You need some perspective.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  4. PartylikeaDemocrat

    VOTE OBAMA 2012!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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

      Not a chance....worst president ever and he just validated it today.

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

      The James Dean moronathon continues!!!!

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

      JamesDean must be a terroist. No other reason for him posting the things he`s posting. Don`t pay him any attention, he is abviously either a terrorist or a child.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bible Clown

      All the Republicans are going to vote for Obama to keep Mitt out of the White House, and they've just realized it. That's why they are so angry.

      October 21, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • _______

      Jamesdean knows what hes talking about. 100% correct.

      October 21, 2011 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rigel54

      Two possibilities for JamesDean. He's Iranian, or he works for Haliburton. Those are the two parties that benefitted most from the Iraq war, and from the clumsy, ignorant, expensive actions of the GW Bush administration. Absent that (Iraq) idiotic screw-up we would likely have skipped the recession, finished Afghanistan successfully, and be sitting pretty. What a numbskull!

      October 21, 2011 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
  5. NoTags

    The military industrial complex will now be pushing for us to attack Iran. You know, they need to keep the money pipeline flowing.

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

    Well at least Obama did ONE thing he promised... not really though, because if Iraq agreed to the immunity terms, we would be staying.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Nihilism > God

    If you claim the Republican party is going to establish an oligarchy, I'll claim, with enough "factual evidence," that Obama is the reincarnation of Catiline. Remember, dictatorships are established on both sides of the political spectrum, the right wing simply "offs" you when you've become worthless, the left wing eventually "offs" the state itself.

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

      Please don't drink and type.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  8. filthburger

    I wonder what the Republicans are going to say about this one. Keep them there? We need another surge? I support our troops. Get them out of that dark hole of a country.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Boo

    Outstanding!

    October 21, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Dave Freed

    I can't wait to watch the Fox news exploding heads when I get home from work.........BOOM!.....BOOM!.....BOOM!

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

      Hahaha. With Republicans so hell bent on doing the opposite of whatever Obama does, I wouldnt be surprised if in a moment of their blind hate for the man, they somehow call this a mistake, or bad, or leave the troops there. That'd be hilariously awesome.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • amanda w

      hahaha dave!!! you know it will turn all about how bush should get the credit, obama still didnt do what he promised, blah blah. maybe they'll run across the screen "President Obama is Dead" like the night Osama Bin Laden was killed, and they did exactly that. Its shameful.

      October 21, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bible Clown

      They will predict an imminent Iraqi invasion that will totally defeat us and occupy all 48 states unless Bush and Cheney are given full credit.

      October 21, 2011 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Tao

    Nice Job Obama. Thank you! And for your people complaining- get a life. Every time Obama does something good you still criticize him. This President is dealing with the largest financial crisis in history. He is drawing down in Afghanistan and is ending the senseless Iraq War. He KILLED the man who attacked the US-Bin Laden and his military strategy worked and created a democratic nation out of Libya with NO LOSS OF AMERICAN LIFE. Those who criticize him should go live in Palin-Land.

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

      This is NOT Obama's credit.

      This deal was made with Iraq when Bush was still in office. Look it up. Obama is only following the time line set by Bush and is trying to take credit for it to bolster himself.

      October 21, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • johnny57

      Barrack Obama deserves 110% of the credit for getting us out of this war, and Bush deserves 110% of the credit for lying to the American people about Weapons of Mass Destruction and getting us into this war.

      October 21, 2011 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Paqrat137

    at least he did it, your hero couldn't and didn;t do as much in 8 years – crawl back under your Tea Party rock – this is a great day for ALL AMERICANS – even you.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bible Clown

      Cheney will be crying again. There goes a billion a week for Halliburton.

      October 21, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry

      Right on. Cheney is and was a liar and cheat.

      October 21, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Big_D

      They are Republicans first not Americans.

      October 21, 2011 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
  13. pat

    mr president, just make sure you will have 40,000 new jobs created for all tese people comming back home.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • No Tea for Me Please

      If the GOP Congress would only stop fighting the jobs bill

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

      Now if the lib tards only believed in democracy.....

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

      Some of them are active. That means they have jobs.

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

      and the James Dean MORONATHON continues!!!!!

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

      Yes thank you. Pat has the most realistic comment here. I'm happy for them to be coming home, just create jobs for them! Create jobs for us too! Whats sad is that there won't be any.

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

      The teabags are begging businesses not to hire until next year in hopes of dragging the economy down to offset all this good news. They are afraid the stock market will boom and jobs will open up.

      October 21, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jon

    And how much would the Republicans have screamed about treason and betrayal if he had?

    October 21, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  15. No Tea for Me Please

    ...ye tools for the 1% sound like Westboro members today 😉

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