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. Jerry

    He and his lapdogs are really getting desperate as the 2012 election nears. Don't worry Mr. NObama. You'll just just have to go and do like the rest of us; stand at the unemployment line.

    Stay tuned...

    October 21, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  2. ItsMeAgain

    It's about frickin' time. BTW, this sounds more like a ruse to fuel his re-election campaign.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
  3. CANADIAN CITIZEN

    Very good they should never been there in the first place thanks to you know whom.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Gary

    THANK YOU FINALLY!

    October 21, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
  5. wilmoo13

    Let's see, haven't I heard that before?

    October 21, 2011 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Enigma

    Hopefully they'll get to spend some time with their families. The Mexican border would be the place to send them after a well deserved rest.

    God Bless all of them!!!

    October 21, 2011 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Zeke In Iraq

    Laughing, sadly, at how easily many believe there wasn't an all out blitz over the last 3 months to get the SOFA extended so US troops could stay beyond 31 DEC 11. I'm thankful we're going home – but anyone that believes this announcement didn't have any political basis is fooling themselves. Have you all been deaf to the comments made by the Press Secretary and SECDEF? Interesting how POTUS didn't enter into that fray so he could make the disingenuous comments today..." "Today I can say that our troops in Iraq will definitely be home for the holidays," Obama said." Mr President, I would like to see that happen... I don't think it will, unless the holidays being referenced are in February 2012...

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

      I don't care what the reason is, the war in Iraq is over. Note to Bush: now is the time to fly the "Mission Accomplished" banner.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • M Edward

      Yes you're correct, the Military Industrial Complex that President Eisenhower warned us about, almost 60 years ago, would have loved to continue to bleed us dry. The $1500 hammer, the faulty showers that killed. However, we will still face the costs for the "contractors" that will remain. Can anyone tell me how much the Iraqi Government pays for our "assistance?"

      Let's hope that as the troops come home we bring the Billions of dollars worth of equipment and material that's still there, or at the very least get paid "fair market value" for it. I know the argument for leaving will be the cost, but that's just BS. I know that's not what the "Government Contractors and suppliers" want but tough! We know that the special interests made more then enough on this unfunded War.

      October 21, 2011 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
  8. The Dude

    And in less than a year we will have to go back in to ldefend Iraq again from Iran.... just wait and see Iran will invade Iraq if you can't see it coming then your stupid stupid stupid!!! However this maybe exactly what this president wants.

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

      Civil discourse, a subject that you obviously missed in school, suggests that whatever valid point you are trying to make is lost on your choice of words. If perhaps you used words such as; "uninformed or lacking in knowledge" your point of view could be considered. "Stupid, stupid, stupid" just doesn't cut it.

      October 21, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
  9. mike

    i think you should just reword that and say that no matter what obama does you will not be happy...

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

      I'm being told that what they fear the most right now is that Obama will NOT be re-elected, and that's why they are running scrubs against him. When he leaves office, America will be free and prosperous, many of our enemies will be dead, and nothing will have really changed except that we will have had a black president. They hope to reverse the election somehow and wipe him from the history books, and that's why they had such hopes for the birth certificate hoax. No apocalypse, no Armageddon, and no race war or socialist takeover. No jackbooted thugs from A.C.O.R.N., no reborn Black Panthers, no North Korean armies marching into Washington. They hate him so much they want a major disaster to happen so they can pin it on him. One fellow told me it was in the Bible and the Bible can't be wrong; I told him there were many interpretations. Face it; we have a black president and he's not doing so bad.

      October 21, 2011 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
  10. reason

    Obama is the best President ever. . . he makes all the right decisions and has upheld all his campaign promises. Republicans are always wrong and have never done anything for this country. All the blame can be placed on them. Democrats are the best and with any luck, I can continue to collect unemployment for the rest of Obama's term. I appreciate all the extensions.. . . Obama 2012!! (otherwise, I might have to actually get a job)

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

      The only promises not kept are due to Republican filibusters.

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

      IObama is god.

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

      To stupid to understand. To ignorant to care. You must be a republican supporter. OBAMA 2012...oh that sounds good... one more time..OBAMA 2012...oh ya i like the sound of that...ok one more....OBAMA 2012...awsome!

      October 21, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lazarus

      Yeah!! Thank You Obama, my parents always taught me to work and study very hard, but since you took office, I have become familiar with the world of doing nothing, just collecting unemployment and not contributing anything into society.. Please get re-elected.. I love watching the soaps on TV.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Magic

      Your right about everything (except your stupid parenthetical remark)

      October 21, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Cody

    Finally!!! Now lets get the hell out of Afghanistan.

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

      That's the first thing I thought! That's where my nephew and niece have been!

      October 21, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Rich

    I'll bet Bainer(weeper of the house) will find fault with bringing the troops home...I just hope he doesn't cry over it...
    GREAT PRES

    October 21, 2011 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
  13. s kel

    OH I SEE WE HAVE A BLIND TROLL FROM THE RIGHT MAKING A VERY VERY STUPID STATMENT ABOUT PRES OBAMA DOING NOTHING ON GETTING THE TROOPS OUT OF IRAQ....BUT GET THIS ,THAT TEA BAG CLOWN SAID IT WAS BUSH THAT GOT THE TROOPS OUT!

    October 21, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Paqrat137

    If this news came out in 1945, there would be dancing in the streets. All AMERICANS would be dancing together that AMERICA and the American government was bringing the troops home. They had all shared the hardship of war, and now they all could share the good news of it's end.

    But this is 2011- and politics has overtaken AMERICA-tic – red and blue – mens more today than the Red, White and Blue. It makes me sick. And it is this division that is the destroyer of AMERICANS – and creator of Republicans and Democrats.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Big_D

    Ending the war in Iraq and Afghanistan can cut our debt by 240 billion a year in outsourcing alone. This doesn't take a dime away from our military, Social Security, Medicare, or any other beneficial program. This is why we hated Cheney you "conservatives". A real conservative wouldn't have paid 250K a year for a laundry service worker or a Chilean criminal to work security.

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