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. ChicagoRob

    annnnnnnnnnnnd..moving them to IRAN............

    October 21, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
  2. joan

    Mr. President your are as tough as steal. So very, very smart and intelligence. All the haters can say otherwise but you
    have done an amazing job all around. You have successfully get the WORLD back on our side. Thanks for "apologiing"
    as some of your enemies will say. We are in 100 percent better place int he World now because of you. Let peace
    live a little longer. The Republicans are keeping you for carryout your jobs polices because they want to win in 2012.

    but the American people are not stupid they know you are for the middle class and is pleading blood for us. We will keep praying for you Mr. President. God will let you prevail. Because your are Good. Good must prevail over Evil.

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

      Amen sister, amen!

      October 21, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  3. QDMO

    Not disappointed in President Obama, disappointed in Congress/Senate . Comments being made fit into the same category-you won't be happy with any decision on the Irag war. Something the current President did not start. Any candidate or President would speak positively and "slant" the outcome to his favor, wouldn't you? What's the saying? Don't hate the player, hate the game.
    I too will wait to see if this happens and pray for more peaceful resolutions

    October 21, 2011 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Rob

    Obama's such a liar. Bush did the "Mission Accomplished" thing way back when......

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

      At least Obama is not flying onto the deck of an aircraft carrier John Wayne style like Bush did 😛

      October 21, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  5. sirock

    obama only creates jobs for unions either domestic or foreign . Did you notice we just lost the war we previously won. It looks like Iran finally won their war against Iraq with obamas help. Didn’t they commit an act of was against us just last week? What about those GE guys this year’s profit it up by 57% it pays to buy a president, ya think? I bet they pay the same taxes they did last year $ 0.00 obama loves GE and all left centered corporation in his new global America comrade

    October 21, 2011 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Rich

    Great job! At least the GOP and their tea baggers can't hold that up in congress to make you look bad.Most of the tea party are collecting some kind of gov hand out but when they get it it's fine.They don't know they are voting GOP against their own BEST INTEREST!

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

      What exactly are you talking about Rich? This end of troops was part of the SOFA agreement signed by Bush...Obama has done nothing but follow the agreement that was in place when he took office.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Al

    wooohooo America F-ya!
    That war was lame anyways

    1. Afghan War was just
    2. Iraq War was a Bush family feud

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

      time to start focusing on Afghanistan

      October 21, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  8. No Tea for Me Please

    Are the GOP trolls asking about jobs for the troops? Obama's jobs bill would end the exemption the GOP won for the "job creators" so they don't have to hire Americans with their obscene Bush tax cuts.

    But the GOP and Tea Party reps are still fighting against those American jobs. Is you job worth voting GOP?

    October 21, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Debbie

    It's really Bush's war. I don't know many Americans that thought we should have invaded their country, killed their civilians, destroyed any type of peace and order.
    I never could understand how he got elected governor, president, and how he could not feel any remorse.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Klahn

    Finally, the Obama has come back.... to USA.... IF YOU SMELLLLLLLALALALALAOOOWW.. WHAT OBAMA... ISSS COOOKING!. Obama should give republicans the people's elbow.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  11. 00hillbilly

    Infiltrator know knowledge posting dumb twisted non-facts to support their party

    October 21, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  12. FunkyMonkey7

    It wonders me how so many people take this to be a sign of Obama fulfilling his promise of bringing back soldiers from Iraq. Please read the article. Soldiers are leaving Iraq because the Iraqis are KICKING THEM OUT, not because we are offering to leave. If the Iraqis weren't kicking them out, I can guarantee that we'd still have substantial numbers of soldiers in Iraq past the holidays. Yes, Obama has reduced the number of troops, no doubt, but if we look at it closely, it's all fulfilling the withdrawal timetable that Bush started and the Iraqis are holding the Americans accountable to.

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

      Yeah, the timetable in which Bush meant for another President to take care of.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Ryan Ireland

    Oh man I love this president! Obama has rid the world of the scourge of Osama bin Laden, Anwar al-Awlaki and Moammar Qaddafi. And all of this was accomplished within six months: if Obama were a Republican, they'd be commissioning bronze statues by now.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  14. s kel

    BILL,YAWN,CAPT RED =THREE IGNORANT TEA BAGGER BIT*HES!

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

      I aint no tea party lover, but let's try to keep things civilized here

      October 21, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Kevin

    Well, bring on Iran! Obama just gave them the green light to take over Iraq, at least the Shia south. Obama just made the sacrifice, sacrificial!

    Anyone with a brain knows Iran is the real danger in the region. We effectively had them surrounded between Iraq & Afghanistan. Having virtually no presence leave the gate wide open for exploitation because we have a weak and ineffective president.

    With this, I say, lets pull all troops out of everywhere, and encamp Fortress America, becuse we just gave nut-jobs the go-ahead to wreck havoc in the world. "Atta boy Obammy!" Nice negotiation skillsd ya got there – loser!!

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