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. Captain Red

    What he DID not tell you but Leon Panetta did that we are currently moving tons of troops to Africa to shore up and train their counties armies.

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

    I told you. I told you........

    When election time comes around, Obama will bring the troops home.
    He gave the GOP, and the military, all the time to do what they wanted there.
    Now it's back to business, and he has an election to take care of.
    BD

    October 21, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  3. job2010

    This news is great but will all these soldiers find a job when back home?

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

      They will if Obama's Job's Bill passes...... 😉

      October 21, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  4. kpar

    But we still have a large amount of troops in Afghanistan, so we are not really bringing them all home and keeping them nearby just incase we have to go back to Iraq. i know they says its a different war. The US plans to withdraw 33,000 soldiers by the end of 2012 in Afghanistan. wonder how many troops we have their?

    .

    October 21, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Myto Senseworth

    The war has not ended....it is only just begining. Go read some history, then make your comments.........

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

    Great news! I'm skeptical that we can not stay out of another war in the middle east but at least we have a President in the White House that is not a war mongrel!

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

      I totally agree. Thank God.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
  7. No Tea for Me Please

    🙂 Now that we have a kick-arss-and-take-names president the GOP "tough guys" (think "W" or Perry) don't seem so tough.

    He's sending the troops after the Tea Party, birthers and all you Westboro GOP nuts posting here today!! 😉

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

      That is so awesomelly funny!!! Love it.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Petey

    Any news that gets Occupy Cluelessness off the front page is good news. And if it's news of peace, even better.

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

      true.. the 99% of the ppl have no clear agenda. If they do, they would not be in the bottom 99%.. Just wishing the top 1% not rigging the system on their favor cant be any agenda..

      October 21, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  9. STEVE

    "the current Status of Forces Agreement with Iraq dictates the U.S. troops leave by year's end,"

    This was a pre-existing agreement, not a choice of Obama's. But, of course, he will try to take credit for this in election season.

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

      Sorry you don't like Obama.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • forwardbias

      we got gadhafi of the oil country killed, and mubarak of the canal country out with none of our sons killed.. isn't that something he should be credited for?

      October 21, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • ian

      Actually not true. The forces agreement that Bush had in place was re-upped and the troops were not given a specific date of exit. Obama did negotiate to move the exit date up even though many people thought it would not be until next summer.

      October 21, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Stan

    Another thing President Obama is doing right. He's one of the better presidents that we've had in a while.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  11. AM

    It may be too little too late for the re-election campaign.

    Foreign affairs are going well for the president, but more free trade with south korea??? That's just what we need... Help lybian reconstruction? Ok.. give them there money back if you want to. Leave it at that! We've dumped enough money into the middle east. There's going to be civil war in the middle east for the next 6-10 years. Let's focus on our economy mr. president. For christs' sake!

    October 21, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Eric

    Barry, you forgot to say, "Thank you George W. Bush for having the balls to commit to the troop surge even when myself and all of my Democrat colleagues viciously opposed it and for having the iron will to do whatever it took to win the war in Iraq."

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

      Eric, "W" didn't do anything until over 4,000 of our troops were killed. Then he finally got smart and did the right thing. I commend him for finally handling it right and kicking some Arab ass. Unfortunatly, he waited too long. "W" was even close to perfect like you wish he was.

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

      To those who say we won the war, what did we Win? Thousands of GI's are dead and many GI's will spend the rest of their lives in a Veteran's nursing facility. Beside the American Civil War, the Viet Nam War, it will be the 3rd greatest tragedy in America's history.

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

      Funniest thing I've read all day.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  13. s kel

    ILL ADD TO THIS LIST LATER JUST WAITING FOR MORE HATE INSPIRIED STATEMENTS FROM THE RIGHT!

    October 21, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  14. NoTags

    When do we start getting the Iraqi oil that was going to pay for this mess.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  15. 00hillbilly

    You are just making party look dumb thank you Fractured Fairy Tales !!!!!!!

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