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. Zach

    And what we will do when the Iraqi government collapses in a year? Bet we'll be right back.

    October 21, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thanks to Wikileaks

      Yep, just like we went back to Vietnam.

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

    How come my dad and 15,000 other men and women are leaving to fight in Iraq tomorrow this is a lie!!! I want to thank everyone serving our country! God Bless America!

    October 21, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thanks to Wikileaks

      Maybe they're going to Africa. We got plans for several new wars there.

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

      he said troops will be out by December not now, i thought the article was written in english

      October 21, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  3. s kel

    COME ON TEA TROLLERS COMMET!

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

      TeaTrolls are gutless cowards who can't respond to anything unless it has to do with their own racist fears.

      October 21, 2011 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • maxthecat

      The Tea Party responded in the 2010 elections. The GOP picked up 64 seats. They also responded to the NY race and the GOP won Anthony Weiner's seat. Same thing, for NJ, VA, etc.

      October 21, 2011 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Zeke In Iraq

      I did. And not one of you has had the stones to refute what I posted. We are all happy to be closer to coming home, but if you think that this is a "kept campaign promise" because of the result then you've missed the intent of what has taken place over the last 3 months with the multiple attempts to extend the SOFA. I don't dislike my Commander in Chief. I don't dislike those that I disagree with. Liars and disingenuous sorts get less than a glance from me though. Debating the legitimacy of being here? Sure, that's valid. Stating as fact today's announcement as though it were always a foregone conclusion is ludicrous.

      "Today I can say that our troops in Iraq will definitely be home for the holidays," Obama said.

      The over/under is 1 MAR 2012 when the last uniformed service member who was in Iraq for Operation New Dawn arrives home from the Middle East. Office Pool opens in the morning at our HQ's building.

      October 21, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  4. NatR

    for the idiots out there, stop trying to trash your President, glorify him instead, he's your President whether you like it or not, and he has taken the decision to protect the lives of 50,000 some troops since Iraqis wont ensure their safety. Bravo President, for not gambling any lives for the sake of Oil. wish the one before did the same. and about the Economy, only uneducated under skilled people can't find a job, everyone i know has a job and are getting raises too, including myself, working in all sectors, so go get some education hil-billies and stop whining (and no, an art degree is not a degree)

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

      The republicans said the same thing when Bush was president. Not a lot of fun on this side, is it?

      October 21, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Yusef Al-Komenen

    You will Be back.

    October 21, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Backstop19

    Fantastic. Only near three years after you said you would withdraw troops. What was the issue – – Oh yeah, Bush was right.

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

      Hey Backside!

      Is that the best you can do?
      Seriously? Are you that stupid that you can only resort to a blatant lie as a post?
      Go play in traffic.
      At least some of your republican/conservative/teabag/racist cohorts can come up with a decent post for me to mock.
      You are talentless at posting.

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

      dilusional

      October 21, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Bryan Reed

    Even if you aren't re-elected President Obama, I'll always be grateful for you resisting calls to leave thousands of troops in Iraq. My brother has been in Iraq and we just want him home. I know the economy has been a tough one, but you did ok by me in your national security policy. Just remember to learn from your mistakes, no one is perfect.

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

    Not to rain on anyone's parade, but the troops are leaving Iraq in accordance to the Status of Forces agreement signed by the Iraqi government and the Bush administration. Obama "ending" the war is really Obama choosing not to illegally continue it.

    October 21, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • jrm

      Since Bush started the war on fraudulent pretexts, declaration that any of what he did legal is a technicality at best.

      October 21, 2011 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Desperate GOP

      Sorry ohboy. No matter how you cut it, Obama gets the credit!!! To bad your boy W had to,with no good cause, drag our military in there to begin with!

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

      Your right,, the Iraqi's want us gone by the end of the year. Tell this to the polliticians who wanted us to remain there. The president just kept his word, We'd have to think abt Iran if its now or 5 yrs from now. its time we stopped this idiotic war and brought our troops home. Jane

      October 21, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      Yes. Let's not forget that Bush is 100% responsible for the war in Iraq and the thousands of U.S. lives, the hundreds of thousands of civilian lives, and the trillion dollars wasted (which blew out our budget and devastated our economy). Let's never forget that. Meanwhile, Obama got two dictators overthrown in the MIddle East in less than six months costing no U.S. lives and a few million dollars. Also he caught the guy that eluded Bush for his entire Presidency (you know, the guy actually responsible for 9/11- hint it wasn't Saddam). So whose better at handling foreign policy and security, Dems or the GOP?

      October 21, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pliny

      And how many tours did YOU do?
      Shut your hole, you piece of dog-sh!t.

      October 21, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • ME

      We had full grounds for going to war since the assassination attempt in 1993. And you conveniently ignore 12 years of Saddam intransigence. The burden of proof was not to prove he had WMD, it was to show he was deliberately obfuscating our efforts to certify he was not making efforts to regenerate it. That was done, repeatedly; every time his agents hid vehicles and facilities from inspection, regardless of whether they contained WMD, that was evidence gathered against his regime.

      October 21, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pliny

      Well said Bob.

      Let's not forget that. This war was all because of SHRUB and his lies about 'weapons of mass destruction'. But hey...it got BILLIONS of dollars in contacts to Halliburton (Darth Cheney's favorite corporate-vampire).

      Let's not forget that it was Republicans who got us into Iraq.
      Let's not forget the Republican, Ronnie-Rayguns, who said 'you can run but you cannot hide' after the Beriut Barraks bombing. And then they ran and hid...and the republicans did NOTHING.
      Let's not forget that it's always the Republicans who start these wars (to profit their corporate masters), and it's the Democrats who fight and win them.

      October 21, 2011 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  9. BillCunnane

    As a Vet I am thankful that our men and women are returning home. Its long overdue and should have been done long ago. I do take exception to Obama taking credit for the pullout. Fact is Iraq has issued the request and demand that the troops be pulled out as soon as possable. Its not a matter that this president should take credit for. If he wanted to get credit he should have had us out of Iraq and Afganistan a year and a half ago. Welcome back to the troops. Make sure we give them the warmest welcome home unlike the reception we got back in the 1960's – 1970's.

    October 21, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • jrm

      Can't he take credit for NOT LYING to keep this going? After all, BUSH LIED to get it started!

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

      well, he should take credit for doing it, listen to all the people who will be against doing what he did. Calling it dangerous etc. Do they not understand this was Iraqis decision also to get us out of their country. He did what he promised, if he listened to half these politicians he would've fought to stay there just in case. Jane

      October 21, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  10. jrm

    I wonder how the baggies will manage to declare this to be a failure?

    October 21, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jane

      they'll say the president left Iraq in the hands of Iran. easy guess. I say so what. sick of these wars. bring them home as fast as you can. Jane

      October 21, 2011 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Antique

    He said what he would do and did what he said! About time we had a president who does that!

    October 21, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Dude

      Reallly? how about closing the prison in Cuba? or how about repealing the patroit act? Didn't he say he would do that?

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

      you are still going to have these idiots complain...like they could do a better job....

      October 21, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Truth

      Actually, Obama is keeping GW's promise to get the troops out by 2011 ... but let's not let facts get in the way of pumping up a failed president

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

      obama did not do anything, this was a status of forces agreement that was signed by bush. Welcome home troops, this is where you should be. In the USA. Thank you for your service to our country. It is truly appreciated.

      October 21, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  12. FreeThinker

    It's about time...while were at it lets bring the entire empire home and do some Nation-building here in the good old USA!

    October 21, 2011 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  13. gmh

    The UNNECESSARY WAR..........Displaced millions of Iraqi people............Killed many Iraqi men, women and children.....Cost our nation trillions of dollars that was not paid for. Many of our soldiers came back armless, legless and mentally exhausted........Many of these people can never recover. God Bless Our Sevice Men and Women. God Bless the Iraqi people for what they have had to suffer. Many lessions learned from that UNNECESSARY WAR.

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

    Dear citizens, I killed Osama, Gadhafi and just ended the war in Iraq. No if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go play some golf and then take my family on vacation.

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

      Too bad the previous clown wasn't this efficient....

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

      Yes – take a well deserved vacation! And THANK YOU for ending Bush Jr.'s illegal war : )

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

      He deserves it if he wants to do it. Now, you go head continue screwing your drunk gilfriend...

      October 21, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jane

      No, he'll be out there campaigning to pass the jobs bill like he's been doing for weeks. see where thats got him the same as him closing GITMO. he could not get votes to send those prisoners out of Gitmo ANYWAY. thats why he did not close Gitmo. HE tried. he got the same OLD NO OBSTRUCTION with that as he gets now with the jobs bill. Jane.

      October 21, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jane

    This war should've ended 7 yrs ago, but its on Obamas watch so he is doing it. Its past time these troops came home. Welcome home guys and gals. Jane

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