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US Troops To Leave Iraq By End of Year 386

mayberry42 writes with news that President Obama has announced an end to the U.S. military engagement in Iraq. All U.S. soldiers will leave Iraq by the end of the year. "Mr. Obama said that as of Jan. 1, 2012, the United States and Iraq would begin 'a normal relationship between two sovereign nations, and equal partnership based on mutual interest and mutual respect.' In a videoconference on Friday morning with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, Mr. Obama told him of the administration’s decision, which grows out of an inability of the United States and Iraq to come to an agreement on leaving a few thousand military trainers in the country. The United States had earlier agreed to exit Iraq by the end of the year and leave 3,000 to 5,000 troops in Iraq as trainers, with some members of Congress advocating the retention of a reduced fighting force as well. But Pentagon lawyers insisted that the Iraqi Parliament grant immunity from legal prosecution to the troops if they were to remain."
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US Troops To Leave Iraq By End of Year

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  • by h00manist ( 800926 ) on Friday October 21, 2011 @03:13PM (#37796958) Journal

    They are machines, and they carry weapons, No soldiers present.

    • by Kenja ( 541830 )
      Who would have thought that the movie Toys was a grim warning from the future.
    • Contractors, security, and military advisers are not technically soldiers either. I'd like to know how far this pull out goes. Either way, it will look good for the election, and it's not so close that people will ask why 6 months turned into 3 1/2 years.

      If I were a voting Obama supporter, I would want a serious explanation of why Gitmo is still open.
    • by Rei ( 128717 )

      They are machines, and they carry weapons, No soldiers present.

      "They carry weapons and they know if you've been bad or good
      Not everybody's good, but everyone tries!"

      (Sorry, just getting in the holiday spirit!)

    • Don't forget about mercenaries, er, I mean contractors. They aren't soldiers either and they'll still be there.
  • You know.. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by intellitech ( 1912116 ) * on Friday October 21, 2011 @03:16PM (#37797000)

    This is NOT the first time an administration has said that.

    Until it actually happens, I won't believe them.

    • This is NOT the first time an administration has said that.

      I wouldn't be surprised if it's a negotiating ploy. Assuming the Iraqis cave on the immunity issue, we'll change our minds and leave advisors there.

    • Yes, but at least the date above is the same date that the Obama administration has been giving for this action since inauguration(I can't find any reference to specifically this time prior to that). Politicians lie, but this would be a pretty dumb time for Obama to do it.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        The reason the date has been same is because it was agreed to with the Iraqi government a couple of months before Obama was elected. The only change is the Iraqi's are kicking out the few troops they agreed to keep before, but the general exit framework has been in place for a while.
        As it presently stands the US army is an invited guest of the Iraqi government, and they have said for 3 years that 2012 will be our exit date. There is no way the US would violate this (moon bat ravings aside) as it would be

        • I agree, I didn't want to get into assigning credit, because it's stupid to assign credit for ending a pointless war. All you really can say is "about time".

      • Yes, but at least the date above is the same date that the Obama administration has been giving for this action since inauguration(I can't find any reference to specifically this time prior to that). Politicians lie, but this would be a pretty dumb time for Obama to do it.

        Sure, but the speeches he was giving before his inauguration called for leaving within his first year of office.

        • Cite please? It's always good to hold politicians accountable to what they promised, but I don't recall anything more specific than "beginning withdrawal", which technically was already started a little before 2009.

          • by DaHat ( 247651 )

            You must not have been paying attention to the campaign much... like watching one of the debates []... or him in the Senate [] where he proposed a bill that would have had all troops out by March 31st, 2008.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by geekoid ( 135745 )

      When.? when else did he say that?

      • When.? when else did he say that?

        'He'? That's not what the GP said, but I guess Eisenhower would suffice.

  • Regarding the summary:

    When I learned arithmetic, 3 to 5 thousand remaining was not "all".

  • Unless they renegotiate the security deal at the last moment. Politicians the world over seemed to like to make last minute deals so that both sides can claim victory.
  • With several friends having just been called up to be deployed in Afghanistan, I'm still just a bit cynical about any talks of ending the wars. I'll believe it when it happens.
    • Afghanistan is not actually part of Iraq. If you look on a map you'll find it is a completely different country. I know most people suck at geography but you'll have to trust me on this.

      Afghanistan is a whole other war - one that we probably are more justified in being involved with since the Taliban was happily hiding Al Qaeda - the supposed real threat to the US. The Taliban are pretty much worse that Saddam, Osama, and Qaddafi combined. The atrocities they've committed on women are horrific.

  • by wwest4 ( 183559 ) on Friday October 21, 2011 @03:32PM (#37797260)

    Let's welcome them home from this situation properly -- with pomp and circumstance. To say they deserve at least that much is an understatement. If we can manage to make this happen for the Yankees, then we need to make sure it happens for the troops. []

    • I appreciate the sacrifices soldiers make but considering how unpopular and unjustified the war in Iraq was and how much such a parade would be a target for violence and terrorism, as a New Yorker, I vote they move the parade to DC.

    • As someone who was there, I think they would rather just come home and get back to a normal life, or as much of one as is possible. This war has been going on for far too long, with far too much pointless killing on both sides. Over a million service members have served there. Many are wounded for life or made the ultimate sacrifice. The 30,000 or so still there do deserve a hand shake and a pat on the back, but that's about all. The real heroes didn't come home. Parades make me want to puke.
  • by pr0f3550r ( 553601 ) on Friday October 21, 2011 @03:35PM (#37797290)
    After a long financial struggle, Obama's bank opened their doors after 4 years of being closed.... []
    • by iceaxe ( 18903 )

      OK, that made me laugh. Thanks :)

    • by Hatta ( 162192 )

      Do you realize that this withdrawal date was determined by the US-Iraq Status of Forces Agreement signed by George W Bush in 2008?

      The only thing you can say in favor of Obama here is that he was no worse than Bush would have been.

  • It's not up to the US. The current Iraqi government wants US troops out. That's their decision,and they made it. This isn't new news; it's been underway for almost two years.

    • by jfengel ( 409917 ) on Friday October 21, 2011 @05:46PM (#37799154) Homepage Journal

      Yes and no. The Iraqi government (well, parts of it) would like for some troops to stay. They really enjoy having a free security force.

      They were in negotiations with the US to continue it, but terms had to be dictated. The sticking point was a matter of immunity. The Iraqis wanted troops to be subjected to Iraqi laws; currently they are held to the UCMJ (US law). This was the key point in negotiation two weeks ago: []

      They never came to an agreement, so we get the default: all troops out by the end of the year. This was the official announcement that those negotiations had ended.

      That is actual news. Until now, there was reason to expect that the troops would be asked to stay for a few more years. Now we know that's not the case.

  • by sl4shd0rk ( 755837 ) on Friday October 21, 2011 @03:53PM (#37797664)

    Just want to say thanks for having the balls to go into a miserable situation and put your ass on the line for a bunch of people you don't know and then had to stay for reasons very few knew about.

  • Now, let's get them home from Afghanistan, too. As much as I'd like to see the Afghan people have a safe and stable democracy, 10 years is too long and too many Americans have died. We seem to be having better luck with drones and missiles. Bring *all* the troops home now!
    • by Jeng ( 926980 )

      I think the quickest way for us to get our troops home from Afghanistan would be to kill every single person in the country. I'm sure that a systematic extermination of everyone in the country would not take nearly as long as just trying to kill the bad guys. If we don't care whom we kill I am sure we can get out of there in around one year.

    • by sjames ( 1099 )

      Agreed. I'm not fond of the Taliban taking over everything there, but an occupying army cannot effect the cultural changes needed to keep them out. The best we can do is assist anyone who wants to leave.

    • by geekoid ( 135745 )

      10 years, but the first 7 they weren't given any real direction why excuses where made to go into Iraq.

      We cant just bring them home now. It would leave a vacuum similar to the one during Reagan's presidency. That is the cause of this in the first place. We have to have a stable government, and then move out.

  • by rotide ( 1015173 ) on Friday October 21, 2011 @03:59PM (#37797742)
    I don't particularly have a lot of love for the President, but why do they continually call him "Mr. Obama"? If they can't respect the man, that's fine, but at least respect the office. Hopefully I'm not being overly pedantic...
  • I seem to recall one way that our beloved leaders have gotten around it is by sending in more "peace-keeping", "training", or "support" forces instead. And of course our dear friends from Blackwater as contractors can be there forever shooting up the place without being counted as troops.

    In other words we probably won't see any meaningful change from this, just as we haven't seen any meaningful change from anything else that has actually been done by Obama since taking office.

    Go ahead, mod me down now. But I dare you to try to prove me wrong.
    • by geekoid ( 135745 )

      how do you 'prove you wrong' when you just make a bunch of shit up?

      There are invisible pink horse on the moon. Go ahead, try to prove me wrong.

  • How much was this decision influenced by WikiLeaks and bad PR this nonsensical war is bringing to Mr. Obama for next elections?
    • by geekoid ( 135745 )

      Since it's been drawing down since he came into office, I would say it's part of the original plan.

  • by Hognoxious ( 631665 ) on Friday October 21, 2011 @05:39PM (#37799066) Homepage Journal

    When the first world war started, in the summer of 1914, everybody thought it would be over by Christmas.

    Which was true. November 1918 is before Christmas 1918.

  • by brainchill ( 611679 ) on Friday October 21, 2011 @06:11PM (#37799426)
    It bothers me that all of the "announcements" that I am reading make this look like a decision made for the good of the country by the Obama administration. This is just not the case. As much as I am not a GWB fan the truth of the matter is that the Dec 31 2011 date for removing combat troops from Iraq was set by a a strategic framework and security agreement between the Bush administration white house and the Iraqi's in November of 2008. [] Pentagon officials under the Obama administration have actually been trying to get the Iraqi's to extend this date since may/june of last year but they (Iraqi government) will not ALLOW us to stay any longer in combat capacity.
  • by tompaulco ( 629533 ) on Friday October 21, 2011 @07:49PM (#37800226) Homepage Journal
    Hooray! Now the can stop hating us for interfering in their country and begin hating us for leaving them hanging. Just like we did in Afghanistan, which pissed off Osama Bin Ladin enough for him to declare a Jihad against us.

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