Oct 22, 2011

President Obama Has Ended the War in Iraq

President Barack Obama talks with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki of Iraq
during a secure video teleconference in the Situation Room of the
White House, Oct. 21, 2011. Seated at the table, from left, are: Tony Blinken;
National Security Advisor to the Vice President;
National Security Advisor Tom Donilon; Puneet Talwar,
Senior Director for Iraq, Iran and the Gulf States;
Deputy National Security Advisor Denis McDonough; and Chief of Staff
Bill Daley. Pictured onscreen are: at left, Prime Minister al-Maliki,
along with two aides; in center, Vice President Joe Biden;
at right, General Lloyd Austin, Commanding General of U.S. Forces
- Iraq and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq James Jeffrey.
- Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

President Obama from the White House

Good evening,

I'm writing to tell you that all US troops will return home from Iraq by the end of December. After nearly nine years, the American war in Iraq will end. Our servicemen and women will be with their families for the holidays.

The war in Iraq came with tremendous cost. More than a million Americans served in Iraq, and nearly 4,500 gave their lives in service to the rest of us. Today, as always, we honor these patriots.

When I came into office, I pledged to bring the war in Iraq to a responsible end. As Commander in Chief, I ended our combat mission last year and pledged to keep our commitment to remove all our troops by the end of 2011. To date, we’ve removed more than 100,000 troops from Iraq.

This is a significant moment in our history. For more information, including video, please visit WhiteHouse.gov/BringingTroopsHome.

The end of the war in Iraq reflects a larger trend. The wars of the past decade are drawing to a close.

As we have removed troops from Iraq, we have refocused our fight against al Qaeda and secured major victories in taking out its leadership–including Osama bin Laden. And we’ve begun a transition in Afghanistan.

On the first day of my Administration, roughly 180,000 troops were deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. By the end of this year that number will be cut in half, and we’ll continue to draw it down.

As we welcome home our newest veterans, we’ll enlist their talents in meeting our greatest challenges as a nation—restoring our economic strength at home. Because after a decade of war, the nation that we need to build is our own.

Today the United States moves forward, from a position of strength.

Thank you,

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