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. David

    Let's see.....how can I get popular with the American voters again before election time...hmmm...Oh! I know!

    October 21, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  2. ROSY

    While I am glad the troops are coming home, there is no jobs for them, or no jobs for any of us I should say. This will definitely make it worse.

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

      Thank the GOP Congress for killing the jobs bill.

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

      If you look at unemployment rates following the end of major wars, I think you will find that this is not an isolated case. It's just the nature of suddenly having hundreds of thousands of people suddenly in need of new employment. Even if our economy was in an excellent condition, it would still struggle to keep up with the forthcoming demand for new jobs.

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

      Just because they come home doesn't mean they still aren't in the military. What will make them leave is the bill that is sitting on Congress's desk to take away the military pension after serving 20 years. They are looking to move to a 401K type plan that no one currently in the military will be grandfathered in. So if you are at 15 years and haven't been saving, counting on the retirment pay than your out of luck.

      October 21, 2011 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
  3. ATL001

    Obama is soooooo smooth. Complete the mission and get the boys home. OBAMA 2012 – repeat.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Tommie Jones

    Teabagger need to get a live or find somewhere else to live. Seems that this country is not good enough for them. The Pres is doing his best. Oh what have the GOP law makes done since they took over.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
  5. J

    Joe- you have some nerve. You are the ignorant one! OUR PRESIDENT – you need to start saying that because he's gonna be around for another 4 years you idiot – handled this situation as DIPLOMATICALLY as he could. Bush was the ignorant Republic who put our troops in harm in the first place. PRESIDENT OBAMA is just cleaning up his mess! GOOD JOB MR. PRESIDENT!

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

      please refrain from calling people ignorant when u know not of what u speak....4 more years of ur HERO will mark the end of ur beloved republic...thats a fact....this is a strategic deployment,the question is...what country is next on the hit list...must be close to home...can u do the math?...i will give u a hint,it starts with V....mark my words

      October 21, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • amanda w

      That's the truth J! If people would close their eyes to the fact that we have a 'black' president, (even though they will tell you until they're blue in the face 'that's not why I don't like him. I don't like him because he hasn't done anything!') and get over the media spectacles with the birth certificate, and see how much he HAS done, there would be a significantly less amount of ignorant people running around everywhere making ignorant comments. And Obama will be re-elected, so maybe you anti-Americans who do not approve of OUR President, can let that sink in sooner rather than later.

      October 21, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Blue

    Let's not have any more political spin on this one. Whichever way you side on the Iraq war, let's all just be happy that the troops are coming home from Iraq for good. I did two tours, and I am very glad to see the war end. Peace out.

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

      thank you for your service to our Country !

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

      Blue, first of all, THANK YOU for your service!!! I don't think this country fully appreciates the sacrifices our men and women in uniform (and their families) make to serve this country. Thanks again.

      Secondly, I couldn't agree with you more. Politics aside, it's time we wrap things up in Iraq. And let's not forget, they don't want us there, so no need to impose. I think we've done that enough.

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

      Agreed!

      October 21, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Wake up America

    Steve Jobs warned President Barack Obama last year that he risked losing re-election over his policies toward business, according to the official biography of Apple's late co-founder.
    "You're headed for a one-term presidency," Jobs told Obama when the two met in the fall of 2010

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

      And this has "what" exactly to do with this article?????

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

      well if billionaire Steve Jobs who never contributed to charity said it....like jobs were never outsourced before Oboma! lol
      or maybe is more like this: Tea Party just asked their business owner members NOT TO HIRE anybody as to hurt Obama's reelection. even the GOP must be horrified by these bunch of wackos!

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

      This is a strange comment considering tha article is about ending the Iraq War.

      Still... It's much to the President's credit that he would take political risks if he feels the country would benefit. This is much unlike the Republicans who have obstructed progress, including creation of jobs, just to discredit the President and help them get back in charge. We know what happened last time.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • James

      tea party really did that!? where did you see that? oh and btw, the jobs were in China and India long before Obama took office...silly

      October 21, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Big_D

      Jobs put 800,000 of his jobs in China before Bush left office. Keep lying, at least you believe yourself.

      October 21, 2011 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Chris Miller

    Alina77...great observation!. I too have noticed that important and critical governing actions that don't require the participation/approval of Congress in general and the Republicans in particular seem to work out very well for the President. Hhmmmm......I wonder if he now wishes he had given more consideration to using the 14th Amendment option during the debt ceiling debaucle.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Amit

    Sounds good to me, How EVER, US Should never Gone to war with Iraq apparently US made with Iraq illegal, Killed millions of innocent civilians, use Du weapon, you must be knowing the consequence of DU weapon, Iraq now has one of the highest birth defect rates in the world due to Depleted Uranium. Show me The Evidence where is the weapon of mass Destruction (Nuke) That was BIG lie,

    REASON – OIL & Natural Resources of Iraq.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jo

    One thing no one can do on here is not credit him for being SMART and some folks are haters because he is winning.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Hombre

    The US needs to stay in the US and develop its resources... They need to watch out for the sleeping giant (China). One day we're gonna wake up and they'll be right at our doorstep. The saddest is thing here is all of the lives of US soldiers lost in Iraq and in the middle east. We need to rebuild and strengthen America, we have been spreading ourselves too thin...

    October 21, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Blacklight

      Agreed

      October 21, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
  12. snowmaker101

    BUT YET WE WILL REMAIN IN AFGANISTAN UNTIL THE NEXT ICE AGE!

    October 21, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Blacklight

      One step at a time snowmaker101. Once we're "fully" out of Iraq, then we can "fully" focus on Afghanistan. For too long Iraq was a major distraction to making progress in Afghanistan.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
  13. What the...

    Hey, wait a minute here, I thought Bush said "Mission Accomplished" in Iraq waaaaaaay back in 2003?

    October 21, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Busted

    Please somebody explain to me why every tea bagger talks with a mouth full of nuts.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Sara Bean

    This is all about reelection. Obama could have had our troops out long before this.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hombre

      cool beans! I agree.

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