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. chris

    Thank god!!!! Maybe if we didn't spend so much money on this war, our country wouldn't be in financial shambles!

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

    crucify bush and cheney for getting us into Iraq

    October 21, 2011 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Anonymous

    So the typical politician waits until it is election time to do something. That is all this is folks. Do not be fooled by him

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

      Actually...this was set years ago. Bush signed the agreement saying our men and women would be home by the end of 2011. Obama WANTED to keep more of soldiers there for training.

      October 21, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
  4. len

    Good to see that Obama is honoring Bush's agreement of us leaving by the end of the year. Not that Obama didn't try keeping our men and women there. Another reason why the idiot should not be in office.

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

      the man said the troops are coming home!!! he did not say the troops are coming home because of him, or vote for me because i brought the troops home. Stop making this a political battle field and be glad and joyous that it's over for them there. Grow up!

      October 21, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Say Whaaat !!!

    People are something else.... Bad is he (POTUS) does and bad if he doesn't... A bunch of children is what they are...

    October 21, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
  6. PETER

    When you're hot you're hot – FOUR MORE YEARS – piece of cake!!!

    October 21, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
  7. The Dude

    Let's see it's the liberal OWS crowd is out screaming things like "Jew bankers should be run out of the US." and "kill the Jew bankers" Yet it's the Tea Baggers that are racist bigots...

    October 21, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
  8. puhlease

    Good grief people. Obama isn't taking credit for anything. He is simply following the rules that were in palce before he took office regarding Iraq (as the article CLEARLY states). My page reads "America's War in Iraq Will Be Over". Nowhere does it say "I'm Obama and I am bringing the troops home.". Funny that people want to get all upset about Obama taking credit (which he isn't doing) but none of you are trash talking the President who took us into a fraudulent war based on lies for no other reason than to line Dick Cheney's/Haliburton's pocket. You want to trash Obama for possibly taking credit but aren't concerned at all about why we were there in the first place. You righties have very very short memories.

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

      some of us actually watch the news too from multiple sources.....I think Bush and Obama are idiots, thank you very much!

      October 21, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
  9. s kel

    F U REPUBLICANS/TEA PARTYERS WOULD LOVE TO SEE ALL OF YOU GO THE SAME WAY AS GADAFFI!

    October 21, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  10. JOE

    We should send the familes of GWB and Cabinet and the families of all the Republicans in congress to finish what they started in both Iraq and Afghanistan. I call that divine justice.

    October 21, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • como1

      Although I agree with your sentiment that Iraq and Afghaistan wars are errors your desire for revenge upon Administration and Congressional Republicans is repulsive. Get help with your illness.

      October 21, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      como1 – Agree that revenge isn't the answer, but JOE along with a large majority of Americans are justifiably angry at the way that Bush/Cheney callously and cluelessly wasted American lives and treasure in Iraq.

      October 21, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  11. OBAMA 2012

    Thank you Mr. President! My daughter will be so happy to get her father home for Christmas!

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

      Yes! Thank you, President Obama. FOUR MORE YEARS!!

      October 21, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  12. jeffbo

    We, the police, expect Iraq to conform to a democracy and they eventually will not. This was a very useless war,
    remember over 100,000 Iraqi's and 4500 Americans lost their lives. Such vanity to say remember the dead. Of course remember the dead and hope history doesn't repeat itself. But remember how we got into this war, remember the lies our former president and V.P. told us.
    I cant wait until everyone comes home esp. my nephews. Dont think that their patriotism goes towards a purposeful war because it does not.

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

      Thank you!

      October 21, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Juggernaught

    Mr Obama, I would luv to play you in a game of risk.... for money...

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

      he would beat and so would I..

      October 21, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bubba

      The thing about risk is there cost to maintain troops and no one really dies.

      You live in a fantasy land to compare Iraq to a game of Risk.

      October 21, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  14. ME

    Bob:

    So I take it you now fully support Wars by Proxy? I always did, and still do.

    October 21, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Scott

    I would love to hear Bush and Cheney discuss how they ended this war. They can twitter it from their prison cells.

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