February 27th, 2009
03:58 PM ET

White House fact sheet on ending war in Iraq

Editor's Note: Here's the White House fact sheet on "responsibly ending the war in Iraq."

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/02/27/obama.troops/art.obama.troops.cnn.jpg caption="President Obama talks about his Iraq War withdrawal plan at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, on Friday."]
Office of the Press Secretary
The White House

On his first day in office, President Obama ordered a comprehensive review of United States Iraq policy by military commanders on the ground, the Joint Chiefs, Secretary Gates, and his national security team. That review led to the President’s February 27, 2009 announcement at Camp Lejeune of a plan to responsibly end the war in Iraq. The three-part strategy he announced will make our country more secure by transitioning to Iraqi responsibility and by allowing the United States to focus on a broader set of national priorities. The Administration will pursue broad support for this plan and other major national security priorities by consulting closely with the Congress, on a bi-partisan basis, and by working closely with friends and allies.

Responsible Removal of Combat Brigades

Based on the recommendations of his military commanders and national security team, the President has chosen a timeline that will remove all U.S. combat brigades from Iraq over the next 18 months. By August 31, 2010, our combat mission in Iraq will end and Iraqi Security Forces will have full responsibility for major combat missions.

After August 31, 2010, the mission of United States forces in Iraq will fundamentally change. Our forces will have three tasks: train, equip, and advise the Iraqi Security Forces; conduct targeted counterterrorism operations; and provide force protection for military and civilian personnel.

The President intends to keep our commitment under the Status of Forces Agreement to remove all of our troops from Iraq by the end of 2011.

Sustained Diplomacy

Iraq’s future is now its own responsibility and the long-term success of the Iraqi nation will depend upon decisions made by the Iraqi people. A strong political, diplomatic, and civilian effort on our part can advance progress and help lay a foundation for lasting peace and security. A new American Ambassador will be supported by the courageous and capable work of American civilian personnel, diplomats and aid workers.

We will work to support Iraqi national elections in 2010, help improve local government, serve as an honest broker for Iraqi leaders as they resolve difficult political issues, increase support for the resettlement of Iraqi refugees, and help strengthen Iraqi institutions and their capacity to protect rule of law, confront corruption, and deliver services.

Comprehensive Engagement Across the Region

The future of Iraq is inseparable from the future of the broader Middle East. It is time for Iraq to be a full partner in a regional dialogue and for Iraq’s neighbors to establish productive and normalized relations with Iraq. Going forward, the United States will pursue principled and sustained engagement with all nations in the region, including Iran and Syria. We have already begun to renew our diplomacy in the region, to refocus on: eliminating al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan; preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon; and actively seeking a lasting peace between Israel and the Arab world.

Finally, the President made a commitment to give our men and women in uniform the resources and clear direction they deserve and to build our civilian national security capacity so that we can use all elements of American power to achieve our objectives in the world.

For more visit the White House website at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/

Filed under: Afghanistan • Barack Obama • Iraq • Military • Raw Politics
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Pat

    I can't help but thinking about the wars, Katrina, poverty, homelessness, tyranny, and isms going unchallenged here in our country. There is violence and reversions going on here also. Don't get me wrong, I love our country and I miss the freedoms we once had. I would like to meet president Obama or Michelle. I would like to tell that how much that can be accomplished in our country similar to that goings on elsewhere. MLK heard Rosa Parks complain of just being tired of spending her hard earned money on bus fare and accepting inferior seating space. MLK "heard" Rosa Parks. He did not act apathetic. Hence civil rights was born. There had to be a president and American listening too. God bless our troops for going everywhere and anywhere needed. Let us as compassionate troops at home, act to fight this war of corruption, greed, unconsciousness here at home.

    March 2, 2009 at 10:50 am |
  2. ronvan

    35 to 50k troops? OK, this is a large Army for most of these countries.
    Properly equiped, and supported a force of 25K could WIPE OUT almost any problem encountered. Where are they going to be stationed? Not in cities, so I would think a base will have to be constructed, if not already in place, and at what cost? How many dollars of equipment, buildings, etc., are going to eventually be left?
    What operations will this force be involved in? Small security/recon units are targets for the enemy. Large operations are seen as an invasion. How long do we keep them there until we THINK Iraq can take care of themselves? And then when we finally leave how long until Iraq returns to their old traditions & history?

    March 2, 2009 at 10:05 am |
  3. Michelle

    I think this is compromise between President Obama
    and the people on the battlefields. It seems like a smart
    approach to me.

    February 27, 2009 at 8:39 pm |
  4. 40 Acres & A Mule

    my mom told me she cried after he made this speech....must have been good!

    February 27, 2009 at 8:36 pm |
  5. Keita,NY

    I do believe that the president plan to keep 35-50k of Americans troops is a smart move to end responsibly this war.

    February 27, 2009 at 8:30 pm |
  6. Annie Kate

    I'm glad Obama is getting us out of Iraq. The plan presented sounds logical and do-able. I hope that Iraq can govern itself and have a stable country where its citizens can live without the fear of death every time they venture out from their homes – a normal life like most of us have. The Iraqi people deserve no less.

    February 27, 2009 at 7:38 pm |
  7. Yancy A.Seals

    Well guys, it has ben thrity eight days since President Obama has taken office. I'm a republican, at what point do we stop all this bickering, and offer some solutions and stop being part of the problems in America. And another thing where did we get all this disrepect for the office of the President?

    February 27, 2009 at 6:50 pm |
  8. Lorene W North Carolina

    I would rather they leave too many troops in Iraq, than for them to
    pull out too many, and those left become sitting ducks for the
    enemy. Leave enough for them to protect each other.

    February 27, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  9. John K

    50,000 Troops in Iraq starting in 2011
    35,000 in Korea since 1953
    10,000+ in Kuwait since 1992
    5000 in Bosnia/Macedonia since 1997
    2500 in Haiti on and off since 1900?
    100,000+ in Japan and Germany since 1945
    The Long Occupations that were set up to provide "stability".

    In 2011 "combat" operations cease and remaining troops will support "stability"? Mission Accomplished again?

    February 27, 2009 at 5:15 pm |