On Oct. 21, President Barack Obama announced plans to have all U.S. troops withdrawn from Iraq by the end of the year.
At a press conference announcing his decision the president said “the rest of our troops in Iraq will come home by the end of the year. After nine years, America’s war in Iraq will be over.”
Despite his strong opposition to the Iraq war since his initial presidential campaign, the president seemed to consider the war to be a success.
Acknowledging this, he said “the last American soldier [sic] will cross the border out of Iraq with their heads held high, proud of their success, and knowing that the American people stand united in our support for our troops. That is how America’s military efforts in Iraq will end.”
This announcement marks the closing days of the Iraq war, a war that has lasted almost nine years and resulted in the deaths of more than 44 hundred members of the military, with more than 32 thousand wounded according to the Department of Defense. Iraqi deaths as a result of the war have been estimated by the Associated Press to be more than 110 thousand.
This is the second major achievement for the president on the national security front in as many days.
The day before this announcement, the death of the Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi was reported, signaling another victory for the United States.
This combined with the discovery and killing of Osama bin Laden earlier in the year helps cement the president’s strong record on national security. Although, whether this will make a difference to many Americans, who have increasingly become fixated on the economy and job market, is still unclear.
Still, President Obama’s news comes as a relief to many family members of those currently serving overseas.
“Across America our servicemen and women will be reunited with their families. Today I can say, our servicemen and women in Iraq, will definitely be home for the holidays,” he said.