Barrack is Finnally Bringing Our Troops Home


President Barack Obama said Friday he was bringing all U.S. forces home from Iraq by the new year, ending a war that stretched nearly nine years, divided the country, transformed the military and left an enduring mark on American history.

The chief effect of Mr. Obama's announcement was to end any chance of a substantial U.S. troop presence in Iraq after the end of the year, a disappointment for U.S. defense officials. It was an acknowledgment that Iraqis had refused to agree to a key U.S. condition for leaving American troops behind: immunity from Iraqi law.

At a White House press conference President Obama announced Friday that all U.S. troops will be withdrawn from Iraq by the end of December.
. Bringing the Iraq war to a definitive conclusion, the U.S. announces it will pull out all troops by the end of the year. The decision reverses a plan to maintain as many as 5,000 troops for training. Robert Ourlian discusses on The News Hub.
.Instead, the president's decision left open the possibility of ties with Baghdad that he characterized as typical relations between the U.S. and the governments and militaries of other countries.

"I can report that, as promised, the rest of our troops in Iraq will come home by the end of the year," Mr. Obama said, referring to his campaign pledge in 2008. "After nearly nine years, America's war in Iraq will be over."

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Friday that once U.S. troops have left, negotiations might take place over how many of them might return, and when. "We're prepared to meet their training needs," he said.

After the last U.S. brigade departs, the bitter controversy surrounding the war, launched by former President George W. Bush 18 months after the Sept. 11 attacks, is certain to linger. It produced innovations in warfare itself, inaugurating the widespread use of improvised explosives and suicide bombers by the inferior side of an asymmetrical conflict, and of unmanned aircraft and personal and vehicular armor by the superior side.

It also showed the tendency of people and institutions to regress in wartime. Iraqi militants used children as weapons and killed civilians indiscriminately, while the American superpower faced revelations that it had treated detainees in a way that many equated to torture.

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..The cost of the war surpasses the $800 billion the U.S. spent and 4,469 service members killed. The war left 32,213 service members injured and thousands more with hidden injuries—undiagnosed concussions and post-traumatic stress.

The legacy of the conflict for America is in dispute—and is likely to remain so for decades. Opponents said the war was unnecessary, a waste of U.S. money and soldiers' lives. Backers said it was necessary to remove a brutal dictator, extinguish a potential threat to the U.S., and bring democratic elections to Iraq. The country itself is now generally stable, an improvement over the rule of Saddam Hussein, but remains decidedly volatile and vulnerable.