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. Kannan

    Comming Home? May be deployed to Afghanistan or Pakistan? WAR on terror will never be over!

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

      Coming (note spelling) home from Iraq. I thought that was clear. No one trying to spin it any other way.

      October 21, 2011 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Not All Docs Play Golf

    President Obama has opened the windows, turned on the fans, and is gradually ridding our house of the stench left by Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld. He'll get my vore again in 2012.

    October 21, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thanks to Wikileaks

      Actually, Iraq turned out the lights on us.

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

      Typical. Uninformed fools like you voted this man in, and you can't even spell "vote". Hopefully, most of the people in the country that think have learned that the only hope for change we have is a different president.

      October 21, 2011 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lee

      Soooo Tired – Which one of the crazy Republican candidates do you recommend?

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

      Lee: Any of them are better than the loon that currently occupies the White House.

      October 21, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Allergic to Stupid

      I agree that there is no better alternative to our current president. Considering what the GOP has given us in recent past with old farts and unqualified moose shooting hillbillies and the potential replacements at hand the vote is easy. Obama 2012!

      October 21, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
  3. TJ

    good deal. i don't care about the legality of the pull-out and the politics behind it. bring 'em home

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

      Amen!!!!!! I agree TJ. Now if everyone else would catch the clue! Celebrate, be happy, something good is actually taking place!

      October 21, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Vishal

    So what? Iran is Next and the Pakistan is on List too,

    October 21, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  5. JOE

    We should have the UN and NATO monitor our withdrawal from Iraq to see to it that the GOP and their Tea Party don't load on a ship and transfer all the mustard gas stockpile in Libya over to Iraq and then say, see there's was WMD's in Iraq all along.

    October 21, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  6. April Garlow

    Thank you President Bush for signing the agreement with the leaders of Iraq that the troops would be withdrawn by the end of 2011!!! Even though Obama has been trying for months to come to another agreement to keep troops there–the Leaders of Iraq said NO, NO and NO America promised-now he acts like-I meant to do that-could he look any dumber!!!!

    October 21, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Bible Clown

    This is going to completely harelip the entire GOP. Go, Obama!

    October 21, 2011 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Joseph

    Better start creating more jobs is all I have to say, 39,000 coming home and soon the goverment will down size military not to metion contractors coming home. Goverment needs to creat more jobs but that is something we have to wait at least a year on now. At least in Iraq those vets were making a pay check.

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

    Yay! About time.

    October 21, 2011 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • FinallyVictory

      This is a wonderful day. Let's remember our fallen and wounded heroes. Can't wait for new years 🙂

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

      Don't leave behind any Weapons of Mass Destruction when you go...

      October 21, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • ArizonaYankee

      IMO, all will be lost, because this axxhole is lost. Iran will take the place over with Al-Sadar. Much US treasure, and lives for nothing because of this inept JO. I don't like war, but you fight to win. A novel idea for this toxic, narcissistic, racist, liar....

      October 21, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  10. bobcat2u

    Thank you Mr. President for keeping your promise.

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

      So...you didn't notice the part where he tried negotiating for more of our people to stay? That isn't keeping his promise. All he did was go along with what Bush's administration signed in 2008.

      October 21, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  11. The_man

    For all you libs, I know this will be hard to do but please read:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S.-Iraq_Status_of_Forces_Agreement

    Bush signed the agreement in Dec 2008 and it states that ALL US troops will be out of Iraq by Dec 31 2011.

    Yes Bush started it, and yes Bush ended it.

    October 21, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thanks to Wikileaks

      So it was all Bush. Can we send that moron the bill?

      October 21, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      And yes, Bush fouled everything up.

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

      But they should have been home long ago and if Bush was still in office I'm sure he'd find a way to keep them there so that his rich friends at Haliburton etc. could continue to reap the profits of war.

      October 21, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • mark

      And we still haven't found any WMD's!

      October 21, 2011 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • really???

      yep, Bush sarted a useless, unfunded war, yep he put way too many American and Iraqi lives in danger, yep he lied to the American public about WMDs! Wow i actually agreed with a Republican...Hello, what? You say hell just froze over? It all makes sense now...

      October 21, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • agonyflips

      If Casey Anthony can get billed for the police work looking for her child she had claimed was missing but wasn't, why can't we Bill the Bush Administration for the costs of the IRAQ invasion and occupation when they claimed there were Weapons of Mass Destruction there and there really weren't.

      Bush's Lies will cost a couple Trillion dollars in aggregate terms, over 4000 American lives, hundred thousands Iraq lives, many more casualties and ruined family lives on both sides... and for what? Look at all these countries that are overthrowing it's dictators without any foreign support or with NATO air support the costs and dangers of which are minimal. Had we waited Iraq might have just fallen on it's own, and likely with less loss of life, and definitely with less anger developed towards the US as a result.
      It war was based on a Lie. They may say it was a mistake, they had bad intelligence, but the truth is they took only the intel they had that pushed their agenda and pushed it to the forefront and deliberately hid or ignored the rest.

      The Big Lie (German: Große Lüge) is a propaganda technique. The expression was coined by Adolf Hitler, when he dictated his 1925 book Mein Kampf, for a lie so "colossal" that no one would believe that someone "could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously."

      (Yes I'm aware of Godwin's law but my Hitler Analogy is not inappropriate.)

      October 21, 2011 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Datsm

      The only correct statement is "Bush started it". Bush is gone, thank God. Bush got innocent people killed for wealth and cost the US trillions of thousands of dollars for a useless, senseless war. You shoud have kept this comment to yourself, as it shows your level of intelligence, and nobody knows you're ignorant until you open your mouth, or write in a blog. The only way (if Bush was still in charge) Bush would have stopped a war is if him and his cronies had made all the money they could make....I don't care what he may have proclaimed would happen in 2011. He did his math and figured they'd been richer by this date.

      October 21, 2011 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • vshabazz2

      You are so right BUSH started a senseless war and the President who is cleaning up the mess that BUSH started and left is President Obama. The president who can walk and chew gum at the same time is getting it done and kicking more butts than any sitting/living/dead president. You may not want to give him his props but you know the truth. Keep lying to yourself like the Republicans are doing maybe you will start to believe it. MAYBE hahahaha

      October 21, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Pan3

    Good job! 4 MORE YEARS! YES WE CAN!

    October 21, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  13. ric

    great job Mr President... it will be wonderful to welcome home the troops.

    October 21, 2011 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
  14. vodknockers

    All US Forces were mandated to withdraw from Iraqi territory by 31 December 2011 under the terms of a bilateral agreement signed in 2008.

    Oh yeah. That would be a date negotiated by the Bush administration – not Obama.

    It's not Obama's "campaign promise" being kept. It was already an agreement on the books.

    Obama just can't stop lying through his teeth.

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

      Agreed. Obama promised to bring our men and women home early...which he didn't do.

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

      and not one of these libs will research that to find out the truth they will just scream that you are lying!!!!

      October 21, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mr. Lowe

      You're trying TOO hard to give Bush ALL of the credit. Obama still had to do a lot of work in order to keep that "agreement". An AGREEMENT isn't something you sit back and just let happen on its own. You have to MAKE it happen. (Let's not forget...Bush also promised to 'finish the job' when he was running for POTUS in 2004. You guys elected him...but he didn't finish the job, NOR did he catch Osama. But Obama did BOTH...so uh, yeah. Thanks OBAMA for finishing BUSH'S job.)

      October 21, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • PETER

      Moron.

      October 21, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • VT

      If Obama can take the blame for the tanked economy Bush left behind, he can take the credit for bringing the troops home.

      October 21, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • from a "lib"

      Ok, ok, I will give Bush credit...he sure was good liar!

      October 21, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  15. GT

    You're such a moron. Instead of rejoicing at the return of these troops, you want to focus on an idiotic sentiment. What did Bush do to bring back the troops? You should be ashame of your idiocy.

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

      Um this was Bush's deal to bring the troops home at this time period. You are giving Obama credit for something Bush set up with Iraq.

      October 21, 2011 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • johnny57

      Bush does not deserve much credit here. He did lie to the American people sell them that they had Weapons of Mass Destruction, which turned out to be a lie. He did a bunch of nasty bit to Valerie Plame, who's husband called him out on it, he did get us into this war. However he did not do nearly enough to prevent the war in the first place.

      October 21, 2011 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
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