America will make its exit from Iraq in a little over two months with the last U.S. troops going home by the end of the year. There are currently about 41,000 U.S. soldiers remaining in Iraq.
President Obama announced his decision in a press briefing following a videoconference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
“As promised, the rest of our troops in Iraq will come home by the end of the year. After nearly nine years, America’s war in Iraq will be over,” President Obama told reporters.
President Obama’s decision to withdraw from Iraq by the end of the year represents a departure from his previous war plans. As recently as last month, President Obama wanted to keep 3,000 American troops remaining in Iraq at the start of 2012. The Associated Press first reported that the White House was abandoning that plan Saturday.
President Obama changed his mind and made this move just in time to change the narrative ahead of the general election in 2012. With his approval rating hitting a record low again this month and poll numbers showing steadily declining public support for his handling of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that might not be such a bad idea.