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. JJ

    Nice ploy by Obama to cover up his lack of progress on jobs and the economy. And the weak minded are suckered in as usual.

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

      what exactly have you been suckered into ol weak minded one?

      October 21, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Philip @ Jane

    It was Iraq's decision for US never to be there. Iraqi ambassadors complained to the UN for over two years about Kuwait illegally selling oil to Iraq's OPEC contract customers and were ignored. Finally, in desperation because 60% of their economy had been stolen, they sent troops into Kuwait to dismantle the Carlyle Groups oilfields in Kuwait. But alas...the Group was made up of American politicians, with one of them having a son who was President of the USA. This entire war and occupation of Iraq was for one single reason...personal profit. It had NOTHING to do with 9/11, nor truth, liberty, nor the American way. And certainly not for God&Country.

    October 21, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  3. johnny57

    He deserves the Nobel peace prize for this. He has kept his promise. I must commend him for all of his efforts.

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

      You are joking right?

      October 21, 2011 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • johnny57

      Our distinguished commander in chief deserves a lot of credit for this. I will be voting for him in 2012.

      October 21, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Pete H

    WONDER! Another election year "miracle!" Right up there with the "historic" levels of deportations. Great, Mr. Obama. Great, but too late.

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

    And howmany years will our troops be there assisting in security. No one really believes that this country is not going to be in the same place there were years ago in a few years. These countries at total sholes, currupt politicians, tribal chiefs, wake up Afganistan and all other middle eastern 3rd world countries, times have changed and you don't need a villiage chief, area chief, bigger area chief, bla bla bla. Get out asap and let them rot in hell!

    October 21, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
  6. SucidalPlanet

    Just in time for Iran

    October 21, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jack M.

    "America's war with Irag" has been over for quite some time, Mr. President. Where have you been? What am I saying, you've been campaigning since your first day in office. Taking credit for everything and being accountable for nothing. Thank God your presidency will be over next November!!!

    October 21, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  8. George

    Now I hope we can work on America and solve the problems here with the corporations exploiting the American people!

    October 21, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  9. s kel

    THATS WHY I WISH NOTHING BUT BAD THINGS TO HAPPEN TO ALL RIGHT WINGERS ON HERE! AFTER READING YOUR MORNONIC STATMENTS ON HERE! I CANNOT TAKE YOU RIGHT WING ANIMALS SERIOUS! AGAIN I WISH ONLY THE WORST ON YOU ALL! EVEN THE FINAL SLEEP!

    October 21, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jenny Benny

    Honestly, why doesn't everything have to be an arguement? Can't we just be happy that our troops are FINALLY coming home and leave it at that? That's what is wrong with country. We have a take a truely momentous occasion and smear by aruging over nothing (and that goes for both the Libs and Repubs as you both do it). Who put us in the war and who is taking us out of the war should be irrelevant, it's done already. We can't change anything. I for one will be celebrating as I am happy for our troops that get to come home, their families that will see them come home AND I will pay my respects to the troops that gave their lives to protect us. You all should do the same and stop wasting time arguing over petty crap.

    October 21, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • wharf0rat

      That's right. We should all be happy that the war cost taxpayer trillions of dollars. We should all be happy that it ruined hundreds of thousands of lives. We should all be happy that taxpayers will be paying for this war far into the future to support the soldiers who had their limbs blown off and their brains rattled silly. And we should be especially happy that George W. Bush got his wish to be a "war President" and Dick Cheney got his wish to divert hundreds of millions of dollars to Halliburton. So much happiness to spread around.

      October 21, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  11. s kel

    DEATH

    October 21, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
  12. wharf0rat

    It cost trillions of dollars. It ruined hundreds of thousands of lives. And taxpayers will be paying for this war far into the future to support the soldiers who had their limbs blown off and their brains rattled silly. Undoubtedly this was the biggest foreign policy blunder in the history of the U.S. government. But hey, George W. Bush got his wish to be a "war President" and Dick Cheney got his wish to divert hundreds of millions of dollars to Halliburton.

    October 21, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
  13. government cheese

    Withdrawal is good. However, not keeping some operating bases in Iraq could prove to be a bad decision. If Iran tries to take over this fledgling country, are we going to watch? Isolationism is not good. Preventing the next war is as important as bringing the troops home.

    October 21, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Ituri

    And how about AFGHANISTAN, the war that is TWICE AS BIG as it was when Bush left office because of Obama's ramping up? I despised W, voted for Obama because he said he'd END THE WAR. Did he ONLY mean Iraq?

    Sick of this nonsense. How long will we be in MULTIPLE wars? Afghanistan, and now Libia. Its absurd... END IT.

    October 21, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  15. ObozoinChief

    First off this was a date set by Bush so thank you Obama for seeing that through. . . Good job for once! This websight just shows the hatred and ignorance of our country. STOP GETTING BRAINWASHED FROM BOTH SIDES!!!!! If you think Obama is a good president you seriously need help. Spin baby Spin. . . FYI this same man that "brought out troops home" when this date was set back in 2008. . . This same man talks down to Americans and apologizes for our greatness. Yeah Greatness where even as bad as it is everyone still wants to come and live. He has divided out country with his inability to lead through strength instead he acted like a child and blammed others. . . What grown man blames others. . . I will tell you! Not Leaders!

    October 21, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lalalala

      AGREED

      October 21, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
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