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. s kel

    CVF USMC! MORE FOOLS OF THE TEA BANNGERS!

    October 21, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  2. USMC Wife

    ONLY THE TROOPS IN IRAQ ARE COMING HOME...BUT WHAT ABOUT ALL THE TROOPS THAT ARE SHIPPING OUT TO AFGHANISTAN IN THE NEXT FEW MONTHS...THEY WONT BE HOME WITH THEIR FAMILY....

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

      What about em ? It seems, no one with a plan VOLUNTARILY joins the military, in hopes of reaping the benefits that non- military people pay for.

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

      why cant you be happy that atleast some of our troops are coming home?! you people are sick....nothing is ever good enough

      October 21, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jane

      HE SAID he will be withdrawing troops from Afghanistan a little at a time, getting them down to half, theres a 120 or 140 thousand there now. and its going to be cut in half. one war at a time.Jane

      October 21, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  3. cvf

    Jim, shouldn't you be out protesting?

    October 21, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  4. bxgrrl

    Finally. Now, can we count on you to not start another one for a while? It's not like we don't have anything else to do with the money.

    October 21, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  5. gck

    Did you hear the military generals speaking about Afghanistan. They want to stay there until it becomes a solvent democracy. The truth is once they leave, they'll have to come home and deal with the fact that there IS no war and now they have to move on with their lives.People from Vietnam still think to this day that their at war.

    Haven't our soldiers paid enough in blood to stop this madness??? Because George Bush was an impatient, oil rich war mongerer we spent 3.7 Trillion dollars on these wars and we are no safer then before thanks to Iran almost able to develop a nuclear weapon. So what was the point? What did the Taliban learn? Tiny provocations to America's pride will force the country to the brink of economic collapse and distract them from real enemies that can truely harm them with Nuclear Weapons.

    We should have either left them alone or bombed the entire country with Nuclear weapons until they surrendered, civilians included, instead of trying to tip toe around the deserts of Afghanistan for 10 years. War is war. To believe it's not is foolish, ignorant, and hypocritic.

    October 21, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thanks to Wikileaks

      Well said, gck.

      October 21, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  6. snore

    yeah yeah yeah. pretty sure i'll believe it when i see it

    October 21, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  7. cvf

    Once they see the mess Obama has made over hear they may want to go back...

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

      The mess Obama has made? lmao....no the mess was paased to him by the previous administration and is still going today due the Republicans who are unwilling to do anything to get us out. The Party of No will understand that at the polls next year when the people say NO to reelecting these jackwads

      October 21, 2011 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jane

      YEH, well at least he's trying to get JOBS for veterans in his jobs bill, I don't see anyone OVER THERE voting for them to have a better life once they come home. In fact they constantly vote against anything for Vets, saying we can' t afford it, unless it millitary equipment. Jane

      October 21, 2011 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Big_D

    The best thing that could happen in Iraq would be a civil war. Iran would fall apart too. What part of unnatural states created by colonialism don't they understand. We should have let the Kurdish state go independent the second we went in. The Oil companies were too worried about the oil fields to let Bush do the right thing. Why do you think we were working as a security detail for BP setting up oil fields? To ensure democracy for Iraq?

    October 21, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  9. s kel

    SLAP MAXTHECAT! ANOTHER STUPID TEA TRASHER!

    October 21, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
  10. commonsense

    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.

    Stop glorifying this this man. He did it because he really had no choice. READ!

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

      Most people won't get the fact that he didn't plan this – it was forced because of the issues at hand. Those who support Obama will say what a great leader he is because of this, when in fact it's just a legal technicality that will end the war. LOL

      October 21, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Allergic to Stupid

      Stop glorifying this this man. He did it because he really had no choice. READ!

      This makes you an ingrate. Kills Bin Laden and your not satisfied. Brings homes troops and you still aren't satisfied. What difference does it make what the reason for them coming home is. So long as the come home...you ingrate.

      October 21, 2011 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • commonsense

      Stupids comment: "What difference does it make what the reason for them coming home is. So long as the come home...you ingrate."

      The difference is that because of a technicality, the war is ending. Obama didn't push some magic button. You still haven't read the article OR my quote from it yet, have you?

      October 21, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  11. 1rooster

    THANK YOU Mr. President for being the statesman you really are. For the people who still wish you ill will, they can go to hell.

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

      Totally agree. One of the greatest Presidents we've ever been graced with.

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

      If he was a statesmen, the would have worked out the differences to reach an agreement.

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

      Not sure about one of the greatest, but still a dramatic improvement in comparison to Bush, Nixon and Carter.

      October 21, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Allergic to Stupid

      Amen!

      October 21, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Guest comment

    Good luck Iraq – you will need it.

    I am hoping not, but fear we'll see you again in the future................

    October 21, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jeff

    Is this the same president that said he'd cut the deficit in half? I'll believe it when I see it. Even if we end the war, we're still leaving a gigantic and expensive diplomatic footprint that will continue to drain our resources.

    October 21, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Not All Docs Play Golf

      Wasn't Bush the one who inhereted a SURPLUS and turned it into a defect?

      October 21, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Allergic to Stupid

      Yes, we leave a gigantic footprint there. Non of which is this presidents fault. For some, nothing he does will ever be good enough. If people were this critical 10 year ago there wouldn't be a war to end.

      October 21, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Kevin Brooks

    Didn't he say the very same thing just before the last election?

    October 21, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Soo Tired

    Great, Nobama is pandering to the far left loons (most of which have posted here) in a vain attempt at re-election. This move makes no military sense. Are there no ends this man will go to destroy our country????

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

      how is this pandering? apparently when the GOP says that we need to bring home the troops (as said in all of debates thus far) it gets huge applause and approval. but when Obama finally announces that the troops will be coming home, the right cries foul......

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