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. Dave L

    Hallelujah!! It's not going to be pretty over there going forward, but it is on them now, not on us.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • sonnycam2

      yup. waaaaayyyyyy due.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave M

      Considering the fact that WE destabilised the nation. It'll always be on us.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  2. No Tea for Me Please

    🙂 🙂 🙂

    MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!! Twice in one week!

    Hooray President Obama!! 🙂

    🙂 🙂 🙂

    October 21, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      What mission? Oil? who needs Iraq anymore for oil. Lets go to Libya 🙂

      October 21, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • PaulD

      As a Republican, I can't stand Obama and hate this socialist class warefare crap he's tapping into. However, you are right – he gets credit (as he should) for his foreign policy victories of late. He deserves praise.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      Im happy for them coming home. I just hope there will be Work for them in this Horrible economy thanks To our goverment

      October 21, 2011 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bart

      Two useless individuals; Barack Obama & Hilary Clinton. What a waste of air!

      October 21, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Busted

      @Paul – Please the class warfare BS rhetoric was also used when Bush passed his tax cuts and every economist from coast to coast said this would lead to a massive redistribution of wealth, w/only the supply side economists saying that the redistribution of wealth would lead to trickle down benefits for the middle class. Well how's that trickle down treating you? The class warfare comment is just the flavor of the kool aide sitting you in your tall glass.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • todds

      Chris, How about some Canadian oil? Oops, sorry forgot. It is "dirty" oil. Not like good old middle east oil.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tommie Jones

      The tea is running over. They can't take LOL

      October 21, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Joseph G.

    I can say finally they can come home. But all in all I think its because he wants to be re-elected. He can bring them back home but Im still voting Republican.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ronald Hussein Reagan

      vote the way you wish but if you think this is a re election ploy you are as dim as the Republican Presidential wannabes.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris R

      Joseph,

      Keep in mind that Obama has been working on bringing the troops back since he came into office. This isn't something he's pulling out of his hat at the last minute.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • reason

      That's it. Stay stupid.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pam

      Of course he's doing this to get re-elected. Too bad there are so many clueless fools that will vote for this clown in 2012

      October 21, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Schwe1nehund

      True, and he will have earned my vote if it means I can see one of my best buds in time for the holidays. Not to mention the fact that he's delivered Gaddafi and Obama.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      Me too

      October 21, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ken

      Why vote Republican? So a republican can start the war again like they originally did? Man, your political alliance is distorting your better judgement and how can a person make pulling troops out of a war be a bad thing? Give the man (Obama) credit for doing what the general public want.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • KMM

      I am glad they are coming home, but I do agree with you 100%...still voting Republican.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • VAisGreen

      You should vote GOP. Maybe the tooth fairy will show you the WMD.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Schwe1nehund

      DOH – i meant osama obvi.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • BleedingHearts

      Right on, JG. And if he pulls out of Uganda (because we shouldn't have troops over there in the first place) I still wouldn't re-elect him with all the damage he's done. Let the Iraqis take care of themselves.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • MiddleWay14

      I hope that's based on the other candidate being better and not just kowtowing the party line. There are too many mindless voters out there. Don't be one of them. Be independent. Choose the better candidate based on merit alone. The quality of our democracy depends on it.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rom

      When he does something good for the country it's because he wants to be re-elected? By that logic I suppose the Republicans hate to be elected!!

      October 21, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • NJNJ

      Yeah vote for the Reublicans that LIED to get us in the war so they could make money for their corporations. Cheney for example owns homes , cars and many other things THANKS to the war! Go ahead and stay stupid. Vote Republican.

      Thats my new Moto, please repeat everwhere:

      STAY STUPID. VOTE REPUBLICAN.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Busted

      He did it so he could get re-elected. Now this is a typical bagger paying attention to the facts. I'm sure you're the same idiot who said, "Obama killing Bin Laden was nothing more then campaign fluff." The foolishness never ends w/you people. Please somebody explain to me why every tea bagger talks with a mouth is full of nuts.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bart

      Joe, let me lay it out for you. It's not because Barack Obama is bringing them home. It's because the Iraqi government will not renew the immunity for US troops. AND the reason WHY the Iraqi government won't renew is becasue people like Sadr the cleric has promised to fight on the streets of Iraq with their thugs against US troops if they stay past Dec 31st as it was originally agreed on. But Barack was trying to keep about 5,000 to 50,000 troops in Iraq if he had his way! Shame on you Barack for being the SECOND George Bush! THE SAME GUY you were calling a war criminal when he was president. How does it feel like looking in the mirror!! shame on you for not delivering what you promised when we elected you the president. You're going to be a one-termer as Steve Jobs told you.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tommie Jones

      You voting GOP because you are GOP. You all are just mad. Stay mad but the Pres will get four more years.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kevin

      I have a question for the republicans on here and for the democrats who say they're voting republican in 2012. I understand that you don't like Obama, but who do you plan on voting in? Have you seen the possible candidates on the other side? There's only one legitimate candidate (Romney) and he doesn't seem to stand for any of the things that conservatives are typically for. Full disclosure – I'm a democrat voting Obama. I'm just curious because I legimately don't understand how anyone could take Perry, Cain, Bachmann, or any of the other candidates seriously. (If we could leave out all of the disrespectful bashing of each other, that'd be great).

      October 21, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Denvermom35

    This is awesome! I know so many families that have missed loved ones for way to long. Plus as a side bonus, if the republicans won't allow O'bama to create more jobs, we will save money by ending a very expensive ware.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Families? what about the families killed in Iraq in the name of war?

      October 21, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bart

      @Chris... the "Civilized World" as they 'call themselves' (LOL) call that COLLATERAL DAMAGE! HAHAHA! SHAME ON YOU FOR CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY!!!

      October 21, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Gracko

    Partisan bickering aside, I'm just happy our men and women will be returning home en masse. Finally...

    October 21, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • U.S. Army Sergeant First Class

      Thank you!

      October 21, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bart

      @U.S. Army Sergeant First Class.... IRONICALLY you should be THANKING Moqtada al Sadr. As if it weren't for his persistent the Iraqi government was ready to renew the Immunity deal which then Barack would've kept you there in harms way (to serve special interest with your LIFE) for many more years to come. Perhaps not come back at all if something happened to you!

      October 21, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Chedar

    Mr. President, you are the one that America had to salute. You have been doing so much for this country that many don't appreciate what you do to reverse this illegal war started by a Reoublican president. This war has cost so much pain and suffering that contribute to this nation's deficit that bring this economic catastrophy to cause disatisfactipn by the 99% of the American population. It's time we need to moved forward by voting and get rid a Republicsn congress that bring this country to it's knee. I salute to you Mr President

    October 21, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • BHPT

      Right now Obama is about the only thing standing between us and a complete Oligarchy. If a republican somehow gets in the White House in this next cycle we are done.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Concerned citizen

      Please learn how to spell Republican. And do you not remember 9/11? Guess not!

      October 21, 2011 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jai

      So true ... I think people are so quick to forget how we got in this mess in the first place. Obama has been working so very hard to clean up the mess left behind by two terms of Republican wasting. I think people thought all this was going to happen over night but it takes time. Not to mention every time he has a good idea to get us out of this mess Republicans come against them. The Republican party and the tea party are so set on making Obama and Democrats look bad that they are willing to let this country suffer. They say "We are about morals ... blah blah blah but they are willing to take money from the poor and elderly. Do your research people and you'll see things much more clearly. Thank God for the educated ...

      October 21, 2011 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nihilism > God

      First, I too am incredibly pleased that our troops are coming home. My only qualms are with the Obamaphiles who claim "Bush's Republican and Christian war of aggression blah blah blah is wrong blah blah blah..." You cannot by any means judge a war according to clauses of perceived justices. Justice and morality is not absolute, it's objective. War is war. The nature of war is to kill, maim, or so otherwise remove human beings from participating and thus opposing a given faction in said actions. The fact that Bush didn't authorize a campaign of total war is enough, in my personal opinion, to claim that the war was just, whether or not the initiatives behind the war were viable. I think we should of given Baghdad a Dresden-like experience. That would have exponentially saved face, time, money, and personnel...
      Food for thought.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Busted

      @concerned after hearing Bush blame every bad decision on 9/11 how could any of us forget? And here's the correct spelling you are looking for: TEA BAGGER

      October 21, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bart

      @Chedar... what are you on Barack's campaign team???!!! He was trying to KEEP THEM THERE! ONLY REASON they're coming home is because the Iraqi government wont' renew US troops Immunity! But Barack was TRYING to keep them there AFTER Dec 30th. THESE ARE FACTS!

      October 21, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tommie Jones

      Amen

      October 21, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Prioreality

    Clearly timed for political advantage. Sad.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave L

      Right. It would have made so much sense for us to stay there forever. After all, its gone so well hasn't it. Go ahead, vote to go back to Bush policies, you don't need a job or bank account or house anyway. And, you can fly to the other side of the world and get some limbs blown off!!

      October 21, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Trè

      Yeah, he should have left them over there until after the next election. You're brilliant!

      October 21, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris R

      Keep in mind that Obama has been working on bringing the troops back since he came into office. This isn't something he's pulling out of his hat at the last minute. Getting the troops out by this time was part of the schedule. What is new is that almost everyone will be coming back. Obama had wanted to keep around 3k in to help maintain things. The negotiations with the Iraqis didn't allow for that though.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Prioreality

      ... to Dave ... Not the point. Could have been done with the very same result long ago. This is obviously timed for political advantage.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Henny

      Clearly you were not raised well enough to give a man his due. Tiny Tiny person ye be

      October 21, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • NJNJ

      Thats rediculous. Obama anounced well over a year ago that he planned to end the war by the end of 2011.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • James Kruk

      Wouldn't it make more sense to time it when the Republicans are getting stronger, rather in general disarray?

      October 21, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • question

      BS- the Status of Forces Agreement was signed on November 17,2008.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • john w

      if he left the troops there,then you would be on his back about breaking his campaign promise.now he says bring them home,and you say poitical games.thank god president obama is the commander-in-chief.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Prioreality

      ... to Tres, Chris ... Your thoughts are clearly speculative and biased. It can be no coincidence that the timing is as it is, coming at the low point on the popularity curve of a president whose re-election prospects have been gettting progressively bleaker.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Charles in Des Moines

      Oh and the terror alerts in the 2004 election cycle weren't. Give it a rest. IF the man cured cancer, solved the energy crisis, and resurrected Jesus Christ Republicans would still think he was inferior. I have two letters for you: G.W.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ken

      The only sad thing is your post. How can it be sad thew troops are coming home? The only people who should be sad about this announcment are the weapons manufacturers.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Prioreality

      ... to the "et all" of repliers I have not personally addressed: The gullability factor being registered by the majority of respondants to this article is off the charts. A lifetime of political education in this nation has not been enough to clue you in to the convenience of the timing of certain major events? Regardless of party. This is not a partisan argument.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • todds

      I'm an not even American, but come on. Give it a rest already.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jai

      Wow really ... way to turn a positive into a negative!!! He can do no right in your eyes can he ... I mean why are you so upset with him anyway??? Lack of jobs and such getting you down? Well you can blame your Republican party for that. In fact you can blame them now too cause every time Obama tries to help the working people the Republican party would come against him. Do some real research (I am not talking about watching tv) and maybe you'll see things more clearly. I don't care when he did it ... it's great.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bart

      He isn't that smart! I don't know why people think this man is SO smart>!! He is NOT> I am a multinational that grew up living in 4 countries including 8 years in Europe. This guy is CONFUSED! Barack is a very avg person in an extraordinary position. He has the gift of gab. He'd make a great Baptist [preacher in the South!!

      October 21, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  8. jabgar00

    let's GO Obama.. i'm not in the army and don't have any relatives in any armed serviced but this is damn good news!! Obama 2012 This is why i love AMERICA!! The greatest country in the world!!!

    October 21, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Busted

    Another achievement by our pragmatist... I mean President. After 8 years of Bush Jr., saying pragmatist sounds better then just saying President. Now, lets start the comments saying President Obama doesn't deserve credit.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • OBAMAWESOME!

      Let's create a drinking game out of it. We take a shot every time an obama hater says that he doesn't deserve credits...

      October 21, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bart

      @Busted.... credit for what??? Bringing them home? Read my poss above under BART!

      October 21, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jai

      LMAO ... awesome.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Prioreality

      To be bringing up GWB as an excuse 3 years into an administration is pretty feeble. If the word "inherited" needs be used as a crutch for that long, then it's time to find a leader who can move on without it.

      October 21, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jampy

    No matter if you lean to the left or the right....it is TIME for these troops to come home, they've put their lives on the line and they now deserve to be with their families and rebuild their lost time. This holiday one more family will be reunited, no money or politics is as valuable as this.... the president is keeping his word on this. Hopefully in due time Afghanistan will follow.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Mitch

    It's great that our troops are coming home..... but it's just a move to help Obama to try to keep his job.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris R

      He always said he was going to bring them home and this is pretty close to the original timetable he discussed since he got into office. This isn't a last minute decision.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Mitchy, r u every happy? think positive.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jennifer

      You have GOT to be kidding. Good grief.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Awwyeah

    BIG MISTAKE, I guess I will let the family know that I will be going back over again.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Henny

      You don't deserve all the donuts and reality tv you consume.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris R

      Big mistake? Maybe. However, the Iraqi government doesn't want us there anymore. What are we supposed to do? Tel the legitimate government – the one we helped create – to go pound sand? We are staying even if you don't like it? What would that make us *except* occupiers?

      October 21, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  13. DP

    It's about time. What a HUGE waste of money and young lives that has been.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • No Tea for Me Please

      W's legacy

      October 21, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  14. JOH

    Great. So after all we've done, the Kurdish are extremely resentful to the other two main factions in Iraq, and are trying to spread violence in Turkey. Allen Iverson will be very angry.

    But in all seriousness, let's really take a look at how Iraq has fared since our intervention. They have an extremely poor infrastructure when it comes to both economy, "security," education. There is an extremely high level of poverty there. In the midst of all the firefights, there were extreme civilian casualties. Now I respect our troops but there were far too many careless and reckless civilian mortality rate because of lack of common sense in some officers who didn't know a thing about danger close fire-mission and ended up killing thousands of civilians while almost wiping out their own battalion. Constant "engage all contact as hostile" even in areas of civilians. Dropping thousands of artillery fire on a small village with only women and children. While the Shiite were oppressed, many in Iraq says they were better off with Saddam in rule. I don't agree with Saddam and his regime but if it was better FOR THE PEOPLE, then that's what it should have been. No matter what kind of personality you have, you cannot look at dead children in the battlefield and feel like you've accomplished a great deal

    October 21, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ken

      I don't think the result of war is to get 52 inch TVs and play in the park. Iraq was war and where there is war there is carnage. Let that be a lesson for all countries who think going to war is a piece of cake.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
  15. DW

    About time !!!!

    October 21, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
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