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

South Korea Divided on Response to North’s Cyber Attack

In past five years, officials in Seoul have accused Pyongyang of hacking into banks, government websites, causing chaos and inflicting millions of dollars in damages More

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Bentiu

Residents have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy, but planning for the future remains uncertain as fear of attacks looms More

2015 Could Be Watershed for Syria Conflict

Republican control of US Senate in January could lead to more aggressive policy against IS militants in Syria - and against regime of Bashar al-Assad 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.
Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil Wari
X
Adam Bailes
December 22, 2014 3:45 PM
In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil War

In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Jane Monheit Christmas Special

Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Town of Bentiu

Six months ago, Bentiu was a ghost town. The capital of northern Unity State, near South Sudan’s important oil fields, had changed hands several times in fighting between government forces and rebels. Calm returned in November and since then, residents of Bentiu have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy. Bentiu’s market has reopened there are plans to start school again. But fears of new attacks hang heavy, as Benno Muchler reports from Bentiu.
Video

Video US Business Groups Press for Greater Access to Cuba

President Barack Obama's decision to do all he can to ease restrictions on U.S. trade, travel and financial activities with Cuba has drawn criticism from some conservatives and Republicans. People who bring tourists to the island and farmers who want to sell more food to Cuba, however, think they can do a lot more business with Cuba. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.

All About America

AppleAndroid