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. Jeff

    Absolutely one of the greatest Presidents we've ever had. He saved this country from the brink of financial disaster from the Bush Depression. Iradicated two terrorists. Scores of terror enclaves in Afghanastan. Where are the wimp Republicans?

    October 21, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thanks to Wikileaks

      He killed two terrorists! Wow!

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

      They were working desperately to protect the Bush tax cuts that created the deficit along with Bush's wars.

      October 21, 2011 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Big_D

      WIKIDICK – They killed more than two in the last month, read something and turn off FOX.

      October 21, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      now think of it this way. He lied and kept the troops in iraq 3 years after he was in office (i wont believe it until every soldier is back home btw). LIED, literally. he continued the war in afghanistan, bombed libya, pakistan, yemen, etc without even declaring war. He "bailed out" the same bankers that nearly destroyed our country and didn't blink when everyone got laid off. He hasn't done a damn thing about changing economic policy. history has proven that stimulus plans only stimulate the richest, and take from the rest of us. WE have to pay for it. WE have to pay for our debt, and We have to pay for our problems.

      October 21, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Juan in El Passo

    Mr. Obama has to keep at least one promise from 2008! However, "Americas' war is over..." is a very telling quote. That means that the war as a whole is not over and I give it less than six months before it goes into civil war. If he was AS smart as everyone says he would have waited until no news out of that country could come back and be used against him next summer during his continual 4 year campaign.

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

      According to Politifact, Obama has kept 151 promises.

      October 21, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jason S

    Good step forward. Now increase troop presence in Afghanistan and end that war. I like Obama's way of running wars. I didn't like him at first but now I'm starting to like him.

    October 21, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  4. SaulQuinn

    Just think this entire Iraq War problem was completely unjustified and it all started with a letter to George W. Bush. Obviously he wasn't told by God to attack Iraq. You don't find God from drinking whiskey. Check out the details online at Google Books. Search for Patrick J. Buchanan and you will see the books you can read. Look the book Where the Right Went Wrong. Go down to page 50 where it talks about PNAC and how they sent the letter to W.. This entire idea was for promoting American dominance in the world and this letter was sent to the President years before he decided to attack Iraq. Others got into it as well. The National Review article by Jonah Goldberg you will see on that page 50 as well, "The United States needs to go to war with Iraq because it needs to go to war with someone in the region."

    October 21, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  5. sir si

    This guy is a joke! 2012 cannot come fast enough!!

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

      I can't wait to vote for OBAMA again either! OBAMA 2012!!!

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

    The rightwingers like to say that Democrats voted for the Iraqi war too but that is totally false. What the Democrats did prior to our invasion of Iraq was to vote jointly with the Republican Party in passage of the War Powers Act to coincide with United nations resolution for Iraq to disarm. However, what the Democratic Party did not do was vote for an invasion of Iraq prematurely while UN inspectors were still on the ground in Iraq, sucessfully accomplishing their disarmament mission without bloodshed and the loss of life. Furthermore, the Democratic Party was not involved and I repeat was not involved in the behind the door scheme and conspiracy of George W. Bush and his cabinet and the GOP to fabricate a lie and mislead the American people, the United Nations and the world community about bogus and nonexistent WMD's as a justification for war. There's a big difference between what the Democratic Party voted for and what the Republican Party voted for regarding this conflict.

    October 21, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Mark

    Deeply resonant today: Obama's 2002 speech opposing the Iraq war, as read by supporters in Oct 2007: http://youtu.be/AUV69LZbCNQ

    October 21, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  8. DonJose

    I wonder: What will Republicans try to do in order to sabotage American withdrawal from Iraq?

    October 21, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thanks to Wikileaks

      Obama himself tried to stop the withdrawal, but failed. Congress can do nothing about troop movements.

      October 21, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • maxthecat

      He is only doing this to help his pathetic re-election campaign.

      October 21, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jack Be Humble

      There is still a significant potential risk to the new government in Iraq from terrorist/political sabotage. But the financial liability risk to the US, if we had to pay for a PTSD-affected soldier or contractor going postal, is too great. So negotiations broke down. It's not easy brokering deals like that.

      October 21, 2011 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  9. mrPhillip

    Johnny come home
    Come home right now
    We gonna drink some wine
    We gonna break some bread

    October 21, 2011 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  10. David in Seattle

    I laugh when I see people blame Obama for us being in Iraq. Its like a neighbor who burns down his house by smoking in bed. Someone else buys the burnt-out place and has trouble rebuilding. Do you blame the new guy? Of course not. You blame the guy who was stupid and burnt down the house in the first place.

    October 21, 2011 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • maxthecat

      Obama does not have the capability to bring people together or anything else. He is not a clear thinker. He does not listen to his advisors. If he is told you will have a problem doing it this way – that's the way he does it.

      October 21, 2011 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • David in Seattle

      I only wish I could be the poor thinker that you claim Obama to be. George Bush - now he was a really clear thinker. And it.s great that he listened to his advisors about the weapons of mass destruction.

      October 21, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • M Edward

      David, thank you! How people, without access, know what the President bases his decisions on is ludacris. I believe the 24/7 Fox "News." Unfortunately, the Right has lied, misrepresented and squid the facts. I don't agree with everything that the President has done, however, the man is very intelligent and thoughtful. Characteristics, totally lacking in G. W.

      October 21, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
  11. cvf

    Bad move. We need some troop to stay. Obama can't make a deal because no one takes him seriously. He's week like Carter.

    October 21, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cody

      No thanks, we never should have been there in the first place and cant afford to save them.

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

      ...and we should trust the naive analysis of someone who can't spell because?

      October 21, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pliny

      How many times were you dropped on your head, when you were an infant?

      October 21, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • mrPhillip

      He's week? You're illiterate. Stop by Wa-mart sometime and buy yourself a clue.

      October 21, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • David in Seattle

      Yes. Its unfortunate that he is so "week". We want a deal so we can stay longer in Iraq and pay for another war and lose young Amerrican lives and help Cheney make more money. Yesiree Bob.

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

      Like Carter? Is the GOP dealing with the enemy to create a situation again? Remember Oliver North had to be pardoned for treason against the USA.

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

      You are a poor speller and definitely were not in the top of your class. You should enroll in continuing education courses upon completion of your GED.

      October 21, 2011 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lee

      Iraqi's made the decision for us – they don't want help after the end of 2011.

      October 21, 2011 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • MomOfFour

      You can not be serious.

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

      weak*

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

      You spell like Quayle (see "week")

      October 21, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      I'd say it's pretty "weak" to expect others to remain in harms way so you can have piece of mind against your paranoid delusions. How does your conscience allow you to demand our servicemen and women sacrifice more than they've already sacrificed?

      October 21, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Demiricous

    I am glad the troops are comming home. Better late then never but he promised they would all but a small contengency be back at the end of 2009. This seems more as a gimick to get the public back on his side rather then him keeping his word.

    October 21, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Eric

      Seems to me that the person with the naked agenda is you, rather than Obama, but that's typical for the GOP.

      October 21, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
  13. 1CentFree

    I wonder what color John Boehner will be today?

    October 21, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Big_D

      Orange with a slight tinge of envy green.

      October 21, 2011 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Pliny

    Maybe the republicans in congress can find a way of blocking this action also.
    They've blocked every other attempt by the President to help America and Americans.

    And they've done it for their own selfish political reasons.

    Remember that America, when you go into the voting booth. Republican politicians put their own self interest ahead of the interest of America and Americans.

    October 21, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Rabbit One

    Yay! That is great. War is so pointless. And it is super sad that the only format in which we can honor our troops is that of somber grieving when the men and women either die or are wounded for their country. Screw that outmoded form of honor. The best way you can honor your country is by not dying for it: live your life and avoid the demands of the heartless who wish you to go into battle. Don't battle for your families and children, it is not worth it. Just live until your life is stripped from you. Don't give your life to this country. Give it to yourself. And if others come to attack, receive the attack and go down under it or maybe nature will keep you above it in the moment.

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