Obama Prepares To Withdraw Troops From Iraq

- By Bossip Staff

Nearly eight years after he denounced what he called a “dumb war” in Iraq and nearly two years after he won the White House promising to end it, President Obama on Monday plans to mark the formal end of the combat mission there.

By the end of August, in accordance with the strategy Mr. Obama put in place after taking office, the American force in Iraq will have shrunk to just 50,000 troops, from 144,000. The remaining “advise and assist” brigades will officially focus on supporting and training Iraqi security forces, protecting American personnel and facilities and mounting counterterrorism operations. Those 50,000 troops are due to leave by the end of 2011.

“As a candidate for president, I pledged to bring the war in Iraq to a responsible end,” Mr. Obama says in remarks prepared for delivery Monday to the Disabled American Veterans in Atlanta. “Shortly after taking office, I announced our new strategy for Iraq and for a transition to full Iraqi responsibility. And I made it clear that by August 31, 2010, America’s combat mission in Iraq would end. And that is exactly what we are doing — as promised, on schedule.”

Mr. Obama’s planned appearance before the veterans group will be the first of several similar events in coming weeks to draw attention to the transition in Iraq. While he has gone months without mentioning the war much in public as he focused on tightening regulation of the financial industry and stopping the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the president is now trying to remind Americans of one of his most important, if largely unheralded decisions.

The high-level public focus on Iraq appears aimed at least in part at blunting some of the growing frustration, particularly among his liberal base, over the war in Afghanistan. The president essentially is arguing to skeptics in the public and in Congress that he is bringing at least one war to a conclusion and can do so with another eventually as well.

A fact sheet prepared by the White House, for instance, pointedly notes that even with his troop buildup in Afghanistan, the drawdown in Iraq means that the total number of uniformed Americans in the two countries will have dropped from 177,000 when he took office to about 146,000 by the end of August.

With Iraq, Mr. Obama has stuck to his withdrawal schedule despite changing conditions on the ground. He promised during the campaign to pull out combat forces within 16 months. But after taking office he extended that to 19 months to give the Iraqis enough time to hold a new election, assemble a fresh government and get through a transition with the security of a robust American force.

Instead, the election that was supposed to be held in December did not take place until March and the vote was so close that Iraqi political leaders are still deadlocked over forming a new government nearly five months later and no resolution is in sight. There are also lingering problems, like a crippled electrical infrastructure that leaves many Iraqis often without power.

Some critics have said Mr. Obama ought to slow the drawdown to make sure insurgents cannot take advantage of the current political confusion.

But White House officials said they believe it is safe to stick to the original timetable because the caretaker government has proved effective at maintaining security despite the political stalemate. Moreover, they note that the 50,000 American troops that will remain constitute a powerful force in their own right, capable of handling various contingencies.

In excerpts of his Georgia speech released by the White House, Mr. Obama hails the improved security in Iraq, without mentioning that he opposed the troop buildup ordered in 2007 by his predecessor, President George W. Bush, that along with a strategy change is credited by many with turning the war around. Mr. Obama has now assigned the leader of that surge, Gen. David H. Petraeus, to take command of the troop buildup in Afghanistan.

“Today, even as terrorists try to derail Iraq’s progress, because of the sacrifices of our troops and their Iraqi partners, violence in Iraq continues to be near the lowest it’s been in years,” Mr. Obama says in the prepared remarks. But he cautions that the fighting is not over: “There are still those with bombs and bullets who will try to stop Iraq’s progress. The hard truth is we have not seen the end of American sacrifice in Iraq.”

Mr. Obama plans to use the speech to straddle the longstanding domestic divide over the Iraq war by embracing the accomplishments of American troops. “Our nation has had vigorous debates about the Iraq war,” he says. “There are patriots who supported going to war, and patriots who opposed it. But there has never been any daylight between us when it comes to supporting the more than one million Americans in uniform who have served in Iraq — far more than any conflict since Vietnam.”

R.I.P to all the people who have lost their lives in these miserable wars. If Iraq isn’t left in better condition than when Americans arrived it will seem like the whole effort was in vain. We pray the situation remains stable because it’d be a shame to have to go back — again.

It’s great news that the troops will be making their way home from Iraq, but how long before we can say the same for Afghanistan? Last month casualties hit their highest point in the nine years since American military forces began their fight. History has shown Afghanistan is one of the world’s most difficult places to secure victory. Will this effort prove any different?


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  • It's Me

    bring them troops home as it has been long enough. That country should be able to stand on it’s own now, if not the hell with them…

  • bluekid

    If he is bring our soldiers homes, than what is this about a surge in December where are those troops going????

  • ObamaFan

    I am so happy he is doing this… Our troops should have never been sent to Iraq from jump……

  • 1991 UK Gem of Africa

    correct me if am wrong isn’t he just going to put them in Afghanistan?

  • Isis

    I’m so happy to hear this great move on the President’s part to send them home plus it will help the economy since the US sends so much money over there because of the war now all that money can go back into the economy very good!

  • Layla

    Is anyone else concerned that the media never refers to him as “President Obama”?

  • Tittayballs

    I was just about to comment on the same issue. FOX News and other liberal news outlets NEVER refer to PRESIDENT OBAMA as such. Its always Mr. Obama. It makes me sick…
    That is all…

  • Tittayballs

    *I meant Conservative

  • karo

    and to hear the news folks say that the petraus appointment to afgan was a demotion. i say get a clue. the gov’t needed someone over there who knew what they were doing. mcchystal was a whack job. and needed to be out of there . i site the pat tillman case, and how about the parents who want answers on why their sons were told to dig out and build a outpost at the foot of a mountain range, which made their sons and their division “sitting ducks” for the taliban. the pentagon gets real dump on certain inquiries. don’t you?

  • Zone 4 Representatives

    LMAO at folks believing Obama is doing the right thing by bringing home the troops. The U.S is just done fulfilling it’s imperial plan. We have control of the oil fields, natural resources, government, and military. But minimizing loss of life IS always a good thing.

  • lt

    thank GOD! this war we will never win. it’s like another vietnam.

  • karo

    i just hope that prez doesn’t fall to all that goating by the mama grizzly and that rabid foaming at the mouth hannity of fox news. prez has to consider the source. while palin is talking about people using telepromters. when she speaks the woman writes on her hand and needs them talking points drawn up by the folks at fox to get through an interview. the prez is bigger than this. palin is trying to lure a negative statement out of the president so fox , rush , hannity and bill o’really can run with it. the “tricks will stoop” to anything to get back into 1600.

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  • ObamaFan

    It makes me sick also they are such a bunch of disrespectful crackas……



  • Curious1 aka Pretty Girl Swag

    He needs to bring the troops home from Afghanistan…and he needs to keep it real that the real “feared” country is Pakistan…which is known to allow and house…The Al Quaidi..Taliban…

    Ain’t ish happening in Iraq,they’ve killed the “leaders” of the WTC bombing period..

  • BeasT

    I’am a soldier getting ready to head to basic training on Oct.3, and I am so happy to here this. This information actually inspires me to serve my country. And any of y’all that haven’t served or never will need to STFU. This is a move that is leading our country into the right direction.


    I’m glad for the soldiers’s family. The war was uncessary cause Both GeorgeWBush & his father did somethin’ really bad.
    Bush senior let Saddam in place in 1991 he could kill him or end the war but he let the Saddam as a reason to keep the Us troops in Saudia Arabia……. So Bush senior is responsible of the death of many Irakians since 1991 to now and also responsible for the death of Us soldiers with his son. Yes this war was begun for bad resons but a least SADDAM IS DEAD and i know that the situation of war in Irak today is much better than it was under Saddam. So i don’t know if i can say THANK YOU or not but a least Saddam is dead, but i hope it will not replace by another dictatorship…..

  • why

    I hope the new iraq goverment and take control and secure their own country and not allow the insurgents to take over but only time will tell.

  • coldt7

    I believe it when i see it,hell he might as well bring them home they lost the war any way.Why keep prolonging it,you can’t kill whats already dead.They might as well get out of Afganistan,hell,they lost that war to.They’ve been there all these years and haven’t accomplished a damn thing.Other then to destroy the countries landscapes.and kill innocent people.

  • aqueenwaits

    …i just hope that we still have a lot of men and women returning without further increasing the number of casualties.
    GOD bless them all! i’ll be honest with you, i wouldn’t do it.



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    Thank you for your service and all of the sacrifices you have made and will make to protect our nation!

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