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

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid