Another historic announcement from the White House. Today, President Obama announced a full withdrawal of all 39,000 U.S. troops from Iraq in time for the holidays.
In the speech from the White House Briefing Room, he reminded Americans of his pledge as a candidate to "bring the war in Iraq to a responsible end."
Noting a shift in priorities, Obama said "the nation that we need to build and the nation that we will build is our own: an America that sees its economic strength restored just as we restored our leadership around the globe."
The controversial mission has dragged on for nearly nine years, and it left 4,482 Americans dead and 32,213 wounded. It also cost the United States $712 billion dollars — yeah, that's with 'b' — and works out to about $3.8 billion per month.
Obama informed Iraq's Prime Minister Maliki of his decision via a video-conference call. The administration offered to keep some troops on the ground to train the Iraqi forces, but the Iraq government wouldn't grant those troops immunity. Some State Department staffers and contractors will stick around.
The major announcement came just one day after the death of Libyan dictator, Moammar Khaddafy.