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. Elizabeth

    As along as the troops are coming home thats all that matters!! God Bless you ALL!

    October 21, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Dean

    Great news! Obama's still a lousy president.

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

      That all ya got, Dean? Weak!

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

      How could you say that he has fixed many of the Bush failies screw ups he will be remembered.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Herbie

    Maybe with the savings from supporting the war in Iraq we can give more money to the 1%!

    October 21, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  4. BriSoFla

    Thank god for OBAMA! The repukes would have dragged this on forever. Obama the MAN, Bush the boy! OBAMA 2012!

    October 21, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Chris

    We got Osama. Can we get out of Afghanistan now too?

    October 21, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  6. LM

    Not saying whether I am for or against it but it is timed conveniently when he is looking for votes for the next four years.....Just saying....

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

      Unless Obama was a lame duck he could have done this his second day in office and people still would suggest it was just for the votes.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Terry NJ

    This is great news, its about time this has ended. Bush Cheny and Rumsfeld shoud have been tried as war criminals for what they have done. Great job Mr Persident in bringing these fine people home where we really need their leadership and commitment.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Amy

    BRING 'EM HOME!!!!! Very exciting news!

    October 21, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Rich

    Great president! ..He has corrected many of Bush's screw ups...From now on lets attack the RIGHT country not the oil rich ones...Glad we have a smart pres...now...

    October 21, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Black Pearl

    YEAHHHH, I AM SO HAPPY, GOOD WEEK FOR US, THANKS PRESIDENT OBAMA. FOUR MORE YEARS FOR YOU AND HILLARY CLINTON AS VICEPRESIDENT!!!!!!!! 🙂

    October 21, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
  11. DeathsChoice

    This isnt Obama's choice... we signed an agreement with the new Iraq government a year and a half ago saying all our troops will be out by the start of 2012... Obama is just taking credit for something he has no choice on. All you saying he is cleaning up messes or doing a great job... quit being sheep.

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

      I'm sorry, but you do need to understand that he wasn't forced to sign that agreement with a gun to his head. Bringing the troops home has been part of his plan since taking office. Maybe you don't remember all of the uproar about him 'imposing' a timetable.

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

      Your name was Bush's choice for so many of our soldiers...glad that is ending.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
  12. ronpaul@whitehouse.gov

    Bush used Saddam's gassing of the Kurds as an excuse to invade Iraq, and now, Obama is leaving the Kurds to the wolves.  Turkey has amassed thousands of troops on the Northern Iraq border, and has already begun softening up the targets with artillery this week.  

    Combined with the bogus claim that Iran employed a used car dealer in Texas to meet with CIA operatives in Mexico posing as drug lords to commit acts of terror, it looks like Israel's window to do air raids over Tehran is now opening up.  Iran will not be able to strike the US in Iraq if we are no longer there.

    President Downgrade and Hillary have just opened the door for WWIII.  Nobody should be celebrating.  Maybe there is some truth to the Mayan Calendar after all.

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

      Negative nancy!

      October 21, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • commonsense2012

      hey ron paul, wake up! quit parrotting all of your paranoid, doomsday bretheren! face it, whatever our President would have done in this stuation you'd be against! you have no big picture!

      October 21, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  13. patNY

    The Anticipated GOP Response:
    Rubio – too little too late, and thank you to France
    Bachmann – Obama's cutt'n n run'n!
    McCain – Pres. Obama is waiving the white flag of surrender, and we should increase our presence there to prepare for war with Iran
    Romney – I may have agreed that Iraq was a wrong war, but I now know we did the right thing, and while I don't think we should take our troops home, we should pull out of Iraq except for more troops, wait, what did I say? Oh, Obama is leading from behind!
    Perry – tell em troops to come back to Texas, where we have plenty of minumum waged jobs for em!
    Cain – 999! oh wait, its 909, oh wait, the war in Iraq was racist!
    Palin – where's Iraq?

    October 21, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Sheeograth

    God Bless The USA

    October 21, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
  15. michaelfury

    http://michaelfury.wordpress.com/2011/02/28/what-would-they-not-do/

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