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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