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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Obama Ends War in Iraq



Official photographic portrait of US President...Image via Wikipedia
President Barack Obama on Wednesday saluted troops returning from Iraq, asserting that the nearly nine-year conflict was ending honorably, "not with a final battle, but with a final march toward home."

Marking the conclusion of the war at a military base that's seen more than 200 deaths from fighting in Iraq, Obama never tried to declare victory. It was a war that he opposed from the start, inherited as president and is now bringing to a close, leaving behind an Iraq still struggling.

But he sought to pronounce a noble end to a fight that has cost nearly 4,500 American lives and more than 100,000 Iraqi lives.

"The war in Iraq will soon belong to history, and your service belongs to the ages," he said, applauding their "extraordinary achievement."

All U.S. troops are to be out of Iraq Dec. 31, though Obama has pledged the U.S. will continue civilian assistance for Iraq as it faces an uncertain future in a volatile region of the world. Even as majorities in the U.S. public favor ending the war, some Republicans have criticized the withdrawal, arguing that Obama is leaving behind an unstable Iraq that could hurt U.S. interests and fall subject to influence from neighboring Iran.


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