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. Ken

    Obama got OBL, Bush couldn't but Bush did start a war. Bush started the Iraq war and couldn't win, Obama is pulling out like the American people want. Obama got Khadafi (???spelling). Now how is Obama fairing against the Republican war mongerers. Go Obama, you`re doing a great job.

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

      Obama had 8 years worth of investigation going in to his administration to catch Bin Laden. To say he did it all is revisionist history at its finest. It was well reported that the information that eventually lead to discovery of Osama's hideout came during the Bush administration from Guantonimo Bay. If anything they should share the credit.

      Same with Iraq. Hussein was captured during Bush's administration, many military victories occurred during Bush's administration. The war was actually won during Bush's administration with a difficult clean-up and restoration project left to complete. Obama had a 7 year headstart on Iraq, and it was continuing with the same leadership and strategies that started during Bush's administration that led to its final resolution.

      I certainly agree Obama and his administration deserves credit for both of these, but so too does Bush and his administration.

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

      A great job would be creating jobs instead of glorifying the death of the boogie men. He can get the Noble Peace prize for assassinating "terrorists," and using fear tactics to fight wars for the oil mongers. Meanwhile, American citizens are hurting over more important issues like our US Treasury and the economy. He pulled troops out because quite frankly, we can't afford it anymore. Hurray for Obama!

      October 21, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bible Clown

      Those tears being cried by the gops are a sign that Obama's doing the right thing. They are frightened and confused; nothing they've been told is turning out true, and they are beginning to realize that they are the villains. Their parents didn't raise them to hate America. How did this happen to them? Bin Laden, Saddam, and Gadhafi all dead, and they are full of regret and recrimination instead of jubilation.

      October 21, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • sharky

      Um no, while Bush was still in office, this was a deal brokered with Iraq and the US to pull the troops out at this time frame. This was Bush's deal, Obama does not have a choice, this is no credit to him.

      October 21, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  2. slc

    Why? You have no concept of what the Status of Forces Agreement said, nor what purpose it serves, do you?

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

    Now THATS a real president...Obama2012 no doubt.Unless you want a guy like Bush (Perry) another gov of texas that can't spell or speak.

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

      I was thinking Ron Paul. If you want change, vote for him.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tao

      Bravo! Yes, indeed. He is a great President!

      October 21, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bible Clown

      He's got my vote, and that of every Republican who hates Romney.

      October 21, 2011 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • sharky

      Hate to break the bad news to you, this actually was Bush's deal and this is his credit. The time when Bush had the shoe thrown at him, that was when he and the Iraq leaders were making the deal to pull US troops out in this time frame. This has not a thing to do with Obama.

      October 21, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
  4. PartylikeaDemocrat

    HEAR COMES THE HATERS!!..............Republicans will find some reason to say, oh too soon. Or it was our idea; yeah to keep American in war for 10 years! They hate him, can't stand him just because he's good at what he does!

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

      Right on bro!

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

      The econnomy has not improved one bit, Tried to pass Obamacare, Spends with wreckless abandon, Multiple failed stimulus'..Yes he is great at what he does a far left Dem that will be a one term president...

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

      FFFF, you do realize the stimulus was a success? It did just what it was intended to do by supporting the economy for a few months in hopes of recovery. Did you think it was a 'handout?' Want someone to support you while you loaf? 'Wreckless' abandon sounds good; wrecks are a bad thing. But he's already won a second term when you guys picked Mitt.

      October 21, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Fargazer

    thank god we will be out of that miserable place spending all that money which could have been spent in modernizing our infrastructure, paying down the debt, and so many other things that could help the people here. So good that our troops are coming home they deserve it.

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

      Paying down the debt? You're not serious are you? It just would have meant less of a deficit is all.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Kevin

    Mr. Obama, on behalf of the American people, say sorry we invaded your country illegally and caused more than 100,000 deaths of your civilians.

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

      That's for "W" to say

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

      Actually, it's for America to say and OBama speaks for us. Despite the wrongs that were done to America and the world over that 8 year period, W was still the President of the USA. I'll respect the office, but not always the policies of the man who holds it.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Montello

    We should have never been there in the first place – thankfully we're finally getting out. However, we can now look forward now to a period of civil war among the Shi'ites, Sunni, and Kurds, which will continue until another big, bad S0B like Sadam Hussein comes along and holds things together by threat of violence. All of our lives lost and expense will have been for nothing (think Viet Nam).

    October 21, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paqrat137

      Sad but true – when it started, to us from the Vietnam era it looked to be the same war in a different place. And now the results will be the same – and at what cost? Look at it this way – you'll be able to be a tourist there, see the sights, get cheap labor – all in a country we spent our treasure for. Just like Vietnam.

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

    These 2 wars are what helped destroy our Economy.

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

      Thank "W" and the GOP...once again

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

      the wars have costed around 2 Trillion we are 14 Trillion in debt.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Naval Officer

      The war did not destroy our economy (we've always been at war with someone, it boosts the economy and creates jobs)... Lazy people destroyed our economy. Those that don't work and live off the gov't. There are millions of jobs available

      October 21, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Marc

    Thanks Mr. President. You just ensured that our boys and girls that died over there died for absolutely nothing. And what did the US gain from all of this? NOTHING! You're too much of a coward to do what you should have done – recoup our war costs in their oil. You just ensured that this lifeling Democrat is voting GOP in the next Presidential election.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mighty7

      Sned your complaints to the PRIOR Yokel on Chief. Obama DID NOT vote for the war. And the only idiot here is you who would want to still stay there after having lost so many lives and millions for nothing. You freaking imbecile,

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

      ...I have no words for how stupid your comment is. You want us to effectively steal their oil, further destabilizing the region and resulting in even more anti-American sentiment and potential wars? THEN you will see our troops dying for nothing.

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

      what is the President suppose to do if they don't want us there. Should we impose our will upon them force them to accept our rules and take their oil. That sounds like an imperialistic mentality which this county can not afford look what happened to England which crumbled from that ideology.

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

      yeah, right. You're a lifelong Democrat like I'm a lifelong Repug. Just the fact that you talk about recouping our "war cost" by stealing their oil highlights the fact that you are a repug troll. Get away troll! shoo, shoo. Loser.

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

      You don't even know what you're talking about. Other countries already hates the U.S. Some think that we start wars and initiate wars to sell them weapons. We have very little respect in other countries and their propaganda spreads that we like wars and start wars. If we take their oil there would be no respect for this country.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • filthburger

      don't forget that he is sitting on his butt at home while someone else is doing the dying. Marc, please go to Texas and secede from the union.

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

      Marc – you nummie. Going to war (which you appear to admit was a mistake) dose not mean we have to stay there forever and compound the error for eternity in order to justify the unjustifiable. And would you be OK if we hi-jacked the oil of a soverign country after we invaded and occupied that soverign country for almost 10 years? Would that sprinkle holly water on the whole affair in your eyes and lessen the cost in not only American lives but in many more Iraqi lives? Re-read what you wrote. It doesn't make any sense. The deal is the Bush/Cheney Wrecking Machine spent about $2trillion to remove one man from power who wasn't a threath to America – probabaly because Sadam wanted to kill W's daddy. Obama voted against this war while in the senate and he has been in office 33 months and has announced that we're getting out in 3 months. What do Americans expect of our president? He's done the best job anybody could possibly have done trying to fix the wreckage left by little Bush and the mad-man Cheney. That's what I think and beleive.

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

      Shut your trap, Marc. You and all your kind. Just shut it. You've had your way with Iraq for 9 years and what did it get us? Where are the WMDs? How are we better off with Saddam Hussein dead, and an ungrateful and wary government now in power? How many more American lives are you willing to sacrifice for a defective society who refused to do anything about Saddam Hussein on their own? Obviously you're not willing to sacrifice your own. So, seriously: just shut up. It's pretty evident that Obama can do no right in your blind but hateful eyes. If he had announced we were staying there several more years, you would find reasons to complain about that.

      October 21, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Naval Officer

      All the people who wrote comments on this post are idiots. You have not been over there and witnessed the good that we (the troops) have done. Yes we may have gotten in the war for the wrong reasons, but the press reports only the bad. There has been so much good done, and turned so many hearts and minds in Iraq (particually women and children). Though it might now be a majority, the whole war has been a civil rights movement for the citizens of Iraq, our presence is helping them move into the 21st century.

      October 21, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Greg

      You, sir, are a fkng idiot.

      October 21, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Naval Officer

      I'm a ma'am.... It's minds like yours that poison the Iraqi culture.

      October 21, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Larry L

    I wanted to see what the right-wing had critical of this event and yes,,, they did comment negatively but as usual, nothing made sense. I wish a Republican debate would focus on America's problem with hate and division. When Republicans take none of the blame for the Bush Administration, including the Iraq War, the right-wing followers are clearly delusional and unable to think critically. The outright lies from Fox News and the local hate radio stations isn't questioned by the listeners – they simply repeat the lie as if it were true. I once thought the far-left wing was as bad but that isn't the case. Nothing is more destructive to America than the ultra-conservatives who actually want the country to fail. Blind hatred is powerful!

    October 21, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  11. booskoo

    Why not the end of the week ?
    Why Wait?
    Get them out now.
    Let the sunni/shiites kill each other off.
    Who cares??

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

      You are sick

      October 21, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • lisalovesobama

      i would ask if you are an idiot, but I don't think you have the intellectual ability to respond.

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

      Why the hating on booskoo? He/she is dead-on. Violence and murder are practically hobbies in Iraq. We shouldn't have gone there in the first place (both times we did), but we should definitely have left once Saddam was dead, and let them have at it with each other.

      October 21, 2011 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • skitownrefugee

      Hey booskoo – it takes time to move 39,000 troups and their gear and equipment.

      October 21, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
  12. BillyBob117

    then little barry better hurry up and start the pullout-–the holidays are just around the corner--

    Just wait, the great imposter will send more troops to Africa and will now send troops to Libya to help the innocent rebels maintain order-–
    By the way do not ever forget that he is following the time frame set up by W.-–

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

      Well shoot, I thought I was the only one that knew about Bush's time line. You'd think so by reading the libs comments here.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • No Tea for Me Please

      You sour tools for the 1% sound like Westboro losers today....hey, you probably are.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • RW16

      Libya is in Africa door knob.

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

      "little barry"? - you would think a guy with the handle 'BillyGoat'--pardon me, 'BillyBob'- would know better.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • LouieD

      You mean the time frame set up by "W", after being criticized by Obama for not having one, after which he set arbitrarily came up with a slightly different one from Obama's recommendation (2009) to act like he was on top of things?

      October 21, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Blah

    What none of you realizes is that this has nothing to do with Obama. He's simply sticking with Bush's Iraq time line for withdrawl, established in early 2008. Barry's happy to take credit here, but he does not deserve it. He did nothing.

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

      You mean the time frame set up by "W", after being criticized by Obama for not having one, after which he arbitrarily came up with a slightly different one from Obama's recommendation (2009) to act like he was on top of things?

      October 21, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  14. NoTags

    Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, et. al should have never got us in Iraq to begin with. Place the blame where the blame belongs.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Gloria

    Nice going, Mr. President; that is great news!!

    October 21, 2011 at 1:40 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