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. No Tea for Me Please

    TROOPS: Please remember who promised to get you out and who did, even if the gears move slowly. 🙂

    The GOP has been helping the "job creators" send jobs overseas while you were away. They're still fighting Obama's jobs bill that would keep more jobs here.

    Can you afford to vote GOP? None of us in the 99% can!! 😉

    October 21, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Zeke In Iraq

      For him who has ears to hear: The only reason POTUS is getting us out is because the Iraqi's blew up his efforts to keep us in... look up "disingenuous" and apply it to your statement compared to the truth...

      October 21, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  2. modmike

    great job Mr. President!

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

    The Repugs got us in. The Dems get us out. Story of the country folks. Bravo Barak! BRAVO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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

    I don't know what's worst, the comments demonizing Obama (trolls) or the poor indicators of grammar and basic english comprehension from those same people.

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

      Tea People are lil' tools for the 1%. Posers and GOP lapdogs.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Frank Houston

    Finally!!!

    And we will be waiting for them here, glad we have a Democrat president or otherwise they would be stuck for as long as its profitable to private companies and individuals.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  6. 00hillbilly

    It's great to see the boys and girls come home only Obama is sending them to mass on the Pakistan border and Africa read the news

    October 21, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • No Tea for Me Please

      You Westboro kooks are never happy for our proud troops! Get a life!!

      October 21, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
  7. todds

    Obama will most definitely be voted in next election

    October 21, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Catharine

    Does this include private mercenary forces paid by the US government? Or just regular military? Because if what we're actually seeing is the privatization of overseas enforcement, then CNN is reporting the wrong story.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shane

      Let the slaughter begin. The history of American withdrawals

      October 21, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  9. saywhat

    Thousands of American lives lost, thousands more scarred for life, military suicides, tens of thousands of innocent civilians killed, a trillion dollar plus of national treasure wasted ( the cost so far on the two ongoing wars is estimated at 3.6 trillion dollars). A legacy of corruption & torture left behind.
    A country destroyed, a region split wide open for extremism & non-ending cycle of violence. No geo-political gains. loss of American prestige, credibility & influence. Countries like China, Russia & Iran clearly the beneficiaries of our folly.
    A crime against America & humanity. And those responsible roam free , that twisted mind-set ready again to push us into more disasters.

    Mission accompalished.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • No Tea for Me Please

      All thanks to "W" and the GOP

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

      Dubya's war is finally ending. "Forced Democracy" mission accomplished. Thanks for the bill George your GOP masters are proud.

      October 21, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Bookenz

    Until another criminally negligent future republican president gets us involved in a new war.

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

      Pure speculation on your part. Liberal rant and rave with no justification or basis for your comment. Noone wants a war irregardless of political affiliation. If the war was unnecessary Obama would have ended it when he first came into office like Clinton and he did not. No he conveniently waits until he is up for re-election instead of sticking to his promises of change. Yeah, change for the worse but he did keep a promise of change, right? What I find interesting is we still have troops in Afghanistan and said nothing about pulling those troops only the ones still station in Iraq. Something to think about.

      October 21, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Malkntnt

      pmn – "change for the worse" is your opinion, NOT the majority. GOP has been the once to stall all progress on anything the President tries to get done. GOP are the ones that signed ILLEGAL contracts to not raise taxes under any conditions – contracts which are in DIRECT VIOLATION of their oath of office. Debate that buddy.

      October 21, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • pmn

      These are politicians illegal is relative term. Republican majority has only been in two years prior to that congress was democrat majority. As I stated I supported Clinton's ideas. I do not agree with tea baggers. Not all GOP agree with tea baggers we need funds to support the government. When inflation increases so does tax rate. Democrats and Repubilicians can not continue to spend money without raising taxes (AKA Stimulus Plan). I think you fail to see there are some changes which have been imposed through taxes (IRS) which are indiscretely been raised on Americans through the IRS. Unless you are in the tax/accounting field it is virtually impossibly for you to know these changes which occurr and occurred right after Obama was elected. I have seen many, many changes I do not agree. He made a lot of promises. My respect for Clinton is he stuck to his promises to the people. We our a democracy not a socialist country.

      October 21, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Big_D

    It only makes me wonder what Obama could have done domestically without a constant GOP filibuster.

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

    NOw just time to get out of Afghanistan and we wil be good. We have lost many good American military and not just to death but lives have been ruined by repeated deployments. Airstrikes for terrorist training camps with partnerships with the countries they are in of course!

    October 21, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Ronster

    "...the United States and Iraq had been unable to come to an agreement on key issues" In other words, Obama is getting the credit because our troops are no longer welcome there. He's a typical politician.

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

      just shut the eff up. no new news, just criticize is all you do.

      October 21, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Army Wife 1210

    It is a wonderful thing that every soldier that is in Iraq is coming home. But what about all our soldiers still in Afghanistan? Obama didn't say a single thing about them. My husband is one of them. Obama makes it sound like there is only soldiers in Iraq, when there are thousands still in Afghanistan. Are they just disposable to him? Id like him to be in one of our positions. My husband has missed my entire pregnancy and there is a slight chance that he might even the birth of our first child because he is in Afghanistan. Where is the acknowledgement for our troops over there? If your guna end war in Iraq, end it in Afghanistan too. This country has suffered enough for almost the past decade, loosing sons, daughters, husbands, wifes, mothers, fathers, all family members. What else do we have to sacrifice? Bring home ALL the troops.
    Sincerely,
    A very worried Army Wife

    October 21, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paqrat137

      ...and you are right to worry and we all feel your pain, but it took almost three years to reverse the course in Iraq to get to this day. Your husband will come home, it will just take a while longer, and that is sad. He is a good man, a soldier for our country and a true patriot. I am certain that as soon as he can, this President and this administration will end your ordeal and his. May God be with you and although it is a lot to ask, be patient, it will happen. This day happned...your day will come to. Peace.

      October 21, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Righteous

      I am sure Obama cares about your husband too, but this annoucement was about Iraq. How can you criticize this war ending because he makes no mention of the other war, which he did not start? I hope your husband gets home safely, I really do, but such remarks are not helpful.

      October 21, 2011 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • armyvet33

      I feel for you Army Wife, as I have a wife back home right now, and I missed the entire pregnancy of our first child while in Iraq in '05, and have been deployed since January. It's a tough road to walk. But it's a road that every Soldier, and every spouse of a Soldier, chooses to walk when they volunteer or say "I do." Yes, it sucks, but you have to know that deployments are part of the deal. The only reason we have (for now) a pretty good retirement plan, good benefits, and decent pay at a time when the economy is in the pits, is so there is compensation for the hard times when Soldiers might otherwise leave for greener pastures.

      I'm definitely not trying to beat you up - I feel for you. But if you're in the military, and as a Military Spouse you are definitely in the military, you have to take the bad with the good. Look at the bright side - you don't have to worry about your husband getting laid off in the near future, and while employed, you have guarenteed healthcare for you and your baby, and your husband is guarenteed a pay raise each year. Not many people can say that right now.

      I hope you have a good support system in your unit, and that you are getting support from your family. If you need to talk with someone, contact militaryonesource, and they'll help you get whatever help you need. Good luck, and I hope your husband gets home soon.

      October 21, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • pmn

      Pray for your husbands safe return. 🙂

      October 21, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  15. lefty avenger

    Bush's Iraq war of choice created our enormous deficit. Obama will find new wars for us to bankrupt our country with. 100 Million Americans without health care, 10 million foreclosures and 15 million layoffs will not be addressed in the near future.

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