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. Jamie

    Are you ALL blind? This is NOT good news. Obama, your a moron!

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

      So are you, it's you're a moron.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Ava26

    Now Gadhafi is Dead , lets leave Iraq and move on to Libya oil !

    October 21, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  3. hml0228

    YAY, they are leaving Iraq...but guess what? They are going straight to Afghanistan, just a ploy to try and get his ratings up.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Thanks to Wikileaks

    "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."–and this is why Wikileaks should have won the Nobel Peace Prize, because they made it impossible for us to stay when we wanted to stay forever.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Chris

    Is this really it? Its over? No way....maybe ol' Barack is not so bad.

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

      When a politician speaks read between the lines. He is pulling the troops out of Iraq. What about pulling troops stationed in Afghanistan?

      October 21, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
  6. A1Retouching

    Will the republicans again say NO and oppose this??? They probably will...

    October 21, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  7. ooh rah

    How long until the republicans start accusing Obama of 'Surrendering"? Then we will see the bumper stickers out there at the Tea Party rallies..... "these colors DON'T run"... next to the "Don't Tread On Me" bumper stickers.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  8. pmn

    Ok, what about Afghanistan?!

    October 21, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jon5656

      At least there is a legitimate reason to be in Afghanistan... but I still agree with you. One step at a time.

      October 21, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • pmn

      As realize the American public can not complete no the reasons why we over there. Then why did we continue to be in Iraq if it were not necessary? Why did Obama wait until election year? That's the problem I have with Obama..he plays too many games.

      October 21, 2011 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
  9. yannaes

    What timing! Ratings down, unemployment 10% and growing steadily, he purposes his jobs plan, it fails and his presidency is moot in nature. This is nothing more than political grandstanding for a failed presidency, so what does he do, the only thing that he has basic control over, military.

    October 21, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jon5656

      Well, you've convinced me. Let's leave the troops in Iraq.

      October 21, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cody

      lol you still can't swallow your pride and respect our president for doing a good thing. Grow up you ignorant child.

      October 21, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • ooh rah

      that is intelligent...

      October 21, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • SKEE HEE

      Shouldn't have been there in the first place.
      Why don't you go gripe about that.

      October 21, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Wake up America

    Obama pledges U.S. support for Libya after Gadhafi
    By Tom Cohen, CNN
    updated 9:30 PM EST, Thu October 20, 2011

    There where the troops are. Obama is stupid and a liar.

    October 21, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cptobvious

      "There where the troops are."???? That doesn't make any sense. Don't you mean "That is where the troops are." Or "They are there" Who's stupid now?

      October 21, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  11. 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 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • usmc1

      Enough with your 99% crap. Work harder

      October 21, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Cody

    Lets put these 39,000 on our southern border to stop the illegal immigration, drug and gun smuggling. The Mexican border will be a walk in the park compared to Iraq.

    October 21, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  13. lroy

    We haven't gotten over Korea yet, because we're still on that border. When are THEY coming home?

    October 21, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Kindasorta

    One down, one to go!

    October 21, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  15. The Master

    WE SHOULD HAVE NEVER BEEN IN IRAQ!! THIS WAS A WAR STARTED BY THE PNAC (LOOK IT UP) SO THE RICH BANKERS WHO MAKE MONEY FROM WARS CAN PROFIT!! THE MILITARY INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX IS BLEEDING AMERICA DRY!! DEATH TO THOSE WHO START WAR FOR PROFIT!

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

      Ron Paul 2012

      October 21, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • usmc1

      You know nothing

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

      @usmc1 Really? With a degree in history, I know nothing? You should see and read what other vets are saying about the war. Or maybe you weren't in this one...

      October 21, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
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