News / Middle East

Obama: Time To Turn The Page On Iraq

President Obama delivers a nationally broadcast speech on Iraq from the White House Oval Office, 31 Aug 2010
President Obama delivers a nationally broadcast speech on Iraq from the White House Oval Office, 31 Aug 2010

Multimedia

Audio

President Barack Obama has announced that the U.S. combat mission in Iraq is over. The president said Tuesday America's new mission is to advise and assist Iraq's security forces.



Seven-and-a-half years after U.S. forces invaded Iraq, President Obama thanked the troops for their service and announced that their combat mission has concluded. "Operation Iraqi Freedom is over, and the Iraqi people now have lead responsibility for the security of their country," he said.

Links to view or listen to President Obama's speech

In only the second Oval Office address of his presidency since taking office, Mr. Obama did not declare victory, but said the move to a new mission is
underway. "Through this remarkable chapter in the history of the United States and Iraq, we have met our responsibility.  Now, it is time to turn the page," the president said.




About 50,000 American troops will remain in Iraq, with the last of them scheduled to leave by the end of 2011.  

The president said the new U.S. mission is to advise and aid Iraqi security forces, cooperate with those forces in counterterrorism missions and protect civilians.  

Mr. Obama said more and more U.S. civilians will support Iraq's efforts to build a government and recover from years of war. "Only Iraqis can build a democracy within their borders.  What America can do, and will do, is provide support for the Iraqi people as both a friend and a partner," he said.

Almost six months after Iraq's elections, Mr. Obama encouraged the country's leaders to work with a sense of urgency to form a new government.

Before the speech, the top Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives again criticized the president's Iraq policies.  John Boehner reminded a convention of war veterans that Mr. Obama, before his election as president, was among those who opposed both the war and the increase in troops in 2007. "Some leaders who opposed, criticized and fought tooth-and-nail to stop the surge strategy now proudly claim credit for the results," Boehner said.

While promising continued support to Iraq, President Obama said some U.S. forces are being shifted from Iraq to Afghanistan, where the fight against the Taliban and al-Qaida is approaching its tenth year. "We will disrupt, dismantle and defeat al-Qaida, while preventing Afghanistan from again serving as a base for terrorists.  And because of our drawdown in Iraq, we are now able to apply the resources necessary to go on offense," he said.

As the U.S. economic recovery continues to falter, the president turned his attention to the economy and said restoring the millions of lost jobs is America's most urgent task.

You May Like

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid