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.
President Barack Obama