White House photo/Pete Souza
“Let me say this as plainly as I can: by August 31, 2010, our combat mission in Iraq will end,” that coming from President Barack Obama today during an appearance at Camp Lejeune, a Marine base in North Carolina. The President said. “We sent our troops to Iraq to do away with Saddam Hussein’s regime – and you got the job done. We kept our troops in Iraq to help establish a sovereign government – and you got the job done. And we will leave the Iraqi people with a hard-earned opportunity to live a better life – that is your achievement; that is the prospect that you have made possible.”
The president’s plan calls for 35-to-50,000 of our troops to remain in Iraq and be slowly withdrawn during a period of transition. Nevertheless, by December 31, 2011 all U.S. forces will be out of Iraq — per an agreement made by the Bush administration and the Iraqi government last year.
The president pointed out the future success of the Iraqi nation will be determined by its leaders and its people: “We will complete this transition to Iraqi responsibility, and we will bring our troops home with the honor that they have earned.”
Next month marks the sixth anniversary of the Iraq war.