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

    THE DUDE YOU BLIND STUPID CLOWN IT WAS YOUR RIGHT WING BUDDIES THAT MADE THOSE STATEMENTS!

    October 21, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Dude

      Yea if you say so, please try to pay attention, the GOP/TEA baggers support Israel they don't hate Jews like you Libs do. and I'm sure you won't do any research but the video proof is out there.

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

    Those whining about Obama not doing anything eat your words. Bush never accomplished anything this great, and if it's for re election then even better, he's got my vote. Now end the Afghan war next.

    October 21, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • JJ

      Oh Please. And how is unemployment again? You are a moron.

      October 21, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • rampant

      yea agreed u are a complete moron....theres no hope with people like this

      October 21, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  3. the_dude

    Hopefully this won't be another "mission accomplished" moment for Obama like the last time he gave a speech indicating our troops would be home or when he campaigned on the promise of ending the war(s). If obama is going to end this war he must have several others lined up waiting to start because he has to keep his handlers happy.

    October 21, 2011 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Senior Citizen

      It was Bush in his stupid jump suit that landed on the aircraft carrier with the banner saying Mission Accomplished so many, many years ago and thousands have since been killed and wounded. The same Bush who couldn't recall any mistakes that he had made while in office. Bush and especially Chaney should be behind bars for what they've done to this country.

      October 21, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Tom in the Great NW

    President Obama is repairing THE GREATEST BLUNDER BY A US PRESIDENT, Dubya – Dubya attacked THE WRONG COUNTRY AND SENT THE US ECONOMY INTO THE DEEPEST PART OF THE OCEAN.

    ..Cheney, Rove, and Dubya got the man in the hole.
    ..
    President Obama's leadership is responsible to eliminating the TWO GREATEST TERRORISTS IN HISTORY, Osama Bin Laden and Muammar Ghadafi
    ...Thank you, Mr. President, FOR MAKING THE RIGHT DECISIONS CONCERNING US SECURITY.
    ..

    October 21, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  5. anonymous

    I have to read at least one CNN article a day to get my daily chuckle of democrat vs republicans. It's great you all have your own beliefs-that's what America represents. Does one really need to live vicariously through their leader, politicians or other forms of government? I thought sports entertainment was the worst, how ever I may be in the process of being proven wrong!

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

      And your contribution is... what exactly?

      October 21, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Scott

    Thank you Mr. Obama for demonstrating COMPETENT LEADERSHIP, something no Republican since (arguably) Reagan can claim.

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

      LOLOLOLOL!!!!!!!!!....oh my lord,this is the mindset that will undoubtedly be the end of the republic...foolish sheep,go back to bed

      October 21, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      rampant, better take your own advice!

      October 21, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
  7. rampant

    u libs are so clueless its almost unbearable...guess what fools....he will start a new war closer to home...and its alredy begun....wake up u foollish dim-witted sheep....stop watching msm and u will find the truth...

    October 21, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      Time to take your meds.

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

      how conveniant...on the cusp of his lowest approval ratings....with an election coming up...the obl hoax didnt work so this should do the trick!!!!!...so one down...only 5 more wars to pull out of!!!!...good luck ur hero is really doing a superb job!

      October 21, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Zeke In Iraq

    pliny, s kel, no tea for me;

    since none of you appear to be able to use the "previous page" feature, here's a re-post for you regarding your throwing of the gauntlet:

    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.

    Oh, and Pliny – I'm on my 3rd tour... I've got the cred to say what I just did. If you've served here, then God Bless brother. If not, well, I pray you pay the price of impersonating those far better than you...

    October 21, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  9. mark

    beat you..

    October 21, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Linda Kay in Missouri

    Great news! Welcome home troops.

    October 21, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Wake up America

    The troops are not coming home. This is an Obama or CNN set of BS. Look at the next liberal article. Obama pledges U.S. support for Libya after Gadhafi
    By Tom Cohen, CNN
    updated 9:30 PM EST, Thu October 20, 2011

    October 21, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • shawn

      right...hahahahaha!

      You are a genius...thank you for figuring out the liberal agenda!

      October 21, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • steve buck

      dude, wake yourself up!!!!

      October 21, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • johnny57

      They're coming home, they're coming home!!
      When Johnny comes marching home again, hurrah, HURRAH!! Thank you Mr. President Sir!!

      October 21, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • joe

      Oh shut up. The article states exactly what's going to happen. And not a single US soldier has set foot in Libya during this recent conflict and there won't be in the future, either. Go take your sorry, garbage spewing hate somewhere else, moron. The street lights just came on and I think I hear Fox News calling you home...

      October 21, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cheryl

      yes WAKE UP AMERICA I GUESS YOU JUST WOKE UP ...AND YES WE STILL HAVE TO GIVE SUPPORT TO SOMETHING BUSH STARTED WHY DONT YOU READ HISTORY ...DID YOU JUST WAKE UP ...WHO SENT THE TROOPS IN 9/11 BUSH WHO SENT THEM TO IRAQ THERE AFTER BUSH MAN I WISH YOU KNEW HOW TO READ HISTORY YOU TWIT

      October 21, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Steve851

    While I think W was a horrible president, I have to question how BO can take credit for the withdrawal that W negotiated before BO was president. It' time to elect a marginally acceptable president, yet the parties refuse to give us this choice.

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

      What are you smoking...Bush had nothing todo with this decision. He may have been part of decisions on the surge that helped move toward a resolution but...come on. History will give BO Biladen, Libya and ending Vietnam 2 (iraq) good for him because inheriting the economic BS from the previous 20 years may make it a hard re-election.

      October 21, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cheryl

      Steve your stupid Bush brought on this war ...why wont you just admit tht Obama is ending the crap Bush started ...we all are going to have to pay for his judgement that is the problem of the republicans they cant remember who started the mess in the first place

      October 21, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sara

      I agree with you 100%. Obama will be taking ALL credit for our troops coming home. Very sad. BUT I am beyond happy our troops will be on American soil very soon!

      October 21, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  13. ..a laurel and hardy handshake

    Thank you, Mr. President – I WILL BE VOTING FOR YOU A-G-A-I-N NEXT NOVEMBER.

    October 21, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  14. ThomasShieh

    I can't believe the troops will depart from Iraq, very much of American people died for the Iraqi movement for liberation

    wish American Democratic Spirits will leave in Iraq.

    October 21, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  15. If I had a penny for every stupid Republican

    Soon the country will start to unravel because of the religious and sectarian disagreements that still exist.

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