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. frankross

    Why is it that everytime I see this guy,his arrogance is so strong, that I can't hear his message, (if he has one)!

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

      You being blind, deaf, and dumb to whatever he has to say if your choice- not his problem.

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

      Gee, I don't know, because your blinded by your own hate? why can't you just be happy their coming home?

      October 21, 2011 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nick

      My guess is that it's because your hate for "this guy" is so strong it clouds your senses - including your common sense, which, if it worked properly, would tell you that leaving that dust bowl is a great idea. Kudos, Mr. President.

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

      Because you are brainwashed and can form no opinion by yourself

      October 21, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  2. 4F

    After invading Angola it is the least our weak apologizing president could do.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  3. RES

    Obama is spending his first team cleaning up the right-wing messes and corruption(cheney). He has my vote for another term. If the right-wing get back in they will finish the job they started of destroying the middle class.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • BillyBob117

      You are one pathetic lefty-–never ever forget the dims were screaming for a war even before W was sworn in-

      October 21, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shar

      Barry (BO) – Illegal social security number from Conn.
      Barry – Did not pay taxes on his home and lot in Cook County Illinois (Chicago).
      Barry – Went into Africa last week w/o asking Congress.
      Barry – Went into Libya w/o asking Congress – and the Muslim Brotherhood thugs and Iran are poised to take over.
      Barry – No transparency, thuggery, back-room deals, arm-twisting,
      Barry – LightSquared Fraud, Solyndra Fraud.
      That is just the tip of the thuggery iceberg – and ask him about Donald Young and Larry Sinclair. Disgusting.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Paul Willson

    Great news . BUT look for Iran to start inflluencing Iraq against USA . Maybe even make it anti USA ,
    As for the embassay remember Teheran 1979 ?

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

      Whether that does or does not happen is now in the hands of Iraqi's, it's up to them what their future will be

      October 21, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
  5. NotASlaveAnyMore

    whoaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa, a lot of people are going to be loosing billions big time. Hopefully another 'kennedy' does not happen in the near future. You all know how it is in this country.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  6. sortakinda

    Obama is the new Tony Plush–"See ya, gotta go!"
    He doesn't mention that the troops will be needed in Libya as the provisional government starts killing everyone, since they can't tell where to draw the line with Qaddafi supporters, because at one time, not too long ago, ALL LIBYANS SUPPORTED QADDAFI.

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

      Obama is a strategic politician. He will want to play these foreign policy successes to his advantage in his reelection campaign. Committing ground troops to Libya would not only negate the Iraq withdrawal, it would render the fact that Libya was overturned without direct American involvement much less significant. I don't see it happening soon. Besides, he did good work in lobbying for international support. Though we pull more than our share of the NATO weight, I don't think he will act without strong backup from our NATO allies. Only loose thread here is weapons containment, so we'll see what his approach is to that.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Zoey

    It sounds to me like Obama wanted to keep us in there but we have been kicked out by the Iraqis. Oh well, whatever works. I'm glad our soldiers will be home soon.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Bobby

    The Obama political machine is churning. Look at me. Look what I have done. Unfortunately, for the millions that are wondering where their next meal is coming from Lib. and Ir. just don't mean too much.............

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

      Sorry, fail, so is the GOP machine, its all just part of the script, there is nothing even that surprising. But next year, Iraq will be yesterday's news, and hopefully he can refocus his attention where it should be – Jobs.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Anthony

    Lets see if he can keep a promise for once

    October 21, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • No Tea for Me Please

      He sure did! He can say "Mission Accomplished" – twice in one week. And it's not bs.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
  10. ThinkLessDoMore

    he could be rainbow colored with pink strips and I'd like him.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  11. paul

    Amazing what he accomplishes when Republicans don't have a voice to say no.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  12. name

    somewhere in the basement of the white house....Dick Cheney is crying

    October 21, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Ethan

    Sadaam could have been destroyed just like how Gadaffi was... what a waste of time, money, and the bravest men/women on earth. I love the American people, not the idiotic government.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Tahlya

    I love the people who say " He promised this 3 years ago blah blah, this should of been done", and when it's FINALLY being done they changed their story and say "Just another ploy to get him re-elected". Hmm...

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

      I wouldn't sweat it, they would hate him no matter what he does.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Danielle

    What about the troops in Afghanistan? I think this is false hope to Americans due to the fact that the troops objective has switched to Afghanistan. I wish when reports like this are given by our President that he would include the other facts including where our troops are spending most of their time and energy.

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