Iraq Zero by December

President Obama is set to announce that all American troops will be withdrawn from Iraq by the end of the year.

President Obama is set to announce that all American troops will be withdrawn from Iraq by the end of the year.

Jake Tapper, ABC News (“BREAKING — President Obama Will Announce Today Complete Drawdown of US Troops in Iraq to Zero By End of Year“):

Sources tell ABC News that the president will announce today that US troops in Iraq will draw down to zero by the end of the year.

A White House official says that at approximately 11:30am today, President Obama convened a secure video conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to talk with him about this news.

Thus far, all the talk has been of removing “combat troops.” This certainly sounds like an unambiguous complete withdrawal.

UPDATE: Post-announcement, it seems as if some 150 troops will remain behind to “assist in arms sales.”

FILED UNDER: Iraq War, Quick Takes, World Politics
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. john personna says:

    Better late than never.

  2. anjin-san says:

    Good. Libya operations should wrap up quickly too.

    Lets spend the money at home. And not on giveaways to Exxon.

  3. John Peabody says:

    I’m shaking my head at the word ‘zero’. There simply is no such thing. Any number over zero is not zero.

  4. Chris Berez says:

    Wait, so I thought previously there would be troops left behind to guard the U.S. embassy and it’s offices. That still has to be the case, right? I can’t imagine we’re going to rely solely on the Iraqis for that. Or are we withdrawing embassy staff as well? I still suspect the “zero” number only refers to combat troops, but I guess we’ll see.

  5. Chris Berez says:

    Ah, security contractors will provide protection, just as previously speculated. That answers that question. Makes sense. Still, this is good news. Now let’s get out of Afghanistan, Libya and Uganda. And stay the hell out of Syria and Iran.

  6. michael reynolds says:

    Thus ends one of the stranger episodes in American history.

    From the start I thought Mr. Bush was going in there to pull a Japan 1945 — forcibly remake Iraq as a democracy. Disarm them, write them a constitution, empty their torture chambers and political prisons, give ’em democracy good and hard and make it stick — as it has stuck in Japan, Germany, Italy, Austria. . . With some trepidation I backed that play.

    We ended up fostering a civil war won by Iran, and in the process justified torture, destroyed our credibility, filled our VA hospitals, made ourselves look weak and blew a trillion dollars.

    The only good thing to come out of it — and I’m using ‘good’ very broadly — is that Al Qaeda overreached and proved themselves to be such vicious animals to fellow Muslims that they lost their legitimacy in the Arab world.

    To this day I don’t know what the hell Bush and Cheney thought they were doing.

  7. @michael reynolds:

    To this day I don’t know what the hell Bush and Cheney thought they were doing.

    The exercise was based on the neoconservatives’ faulty belief that modern societies are mankind’s natural state and that all you have to do is prevent authoritarian groups from interfering and liberal democracies will spontaneously form in the vacuum.

  8. Ron Beasley says:

    @michael reynolds: Cheney used the war to get Halliburton out of bankruptcy – that part worked.

  9. sam says:

    @Chris Berez:

    Wait, so I thought previously there would be troops left behind to guard the U.S. embassy and it’s offices.

    US Embassies are traditionally guarded by US Marines. Their number ought not to count as “troops left behind”.

  10. Hey Norm says:

    And so ends what is without question the most imbecilic episode in American foreign policy. Unfortunately the ramifications…a strengthened Iran, fall-out from Abu Gharib, etc….will haunt us for a long, long while.

  11. mantis says:

    I’m surprised McCain hasn’t called this a surrender yet.

  12. michael reynolds says:

    @Stormy Dragon:
    Yeah, I think that’s right, it was a libertarian fantasy. It’s bizarre and tragic. Democracy was just going to ‘happen.’ Good lord.

  13. @michael reynolds:

    I don’t know any libertarian who supported the Iraq War, or believed we’d be greeted as libertators

  14. Moosebreath says:

    mantis,

    “I’m surprised McCain hasn’t called this a surrender yet.”

    Well Romney has already denounced it.

  15. michael reynolds says:

    @Doug Mataconis:
    Not every libertarian is a Libertarian. Probably more are Republicans, and at least one was Vice President.

    It does appear Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney believed they would go in, remove the jackboot of oppression from the necks of the Iraqis (a good thing) and then Democracy would flower.

  16. People always forget that it too English society (and I include the US as an extension of the society) nearly 500 years to go from absolute monarchy to liberal democracy, and that widespread voting was necessarily the last step in that process, not the first.

  17. A voice from another precinct says:

    @anjin-san: how dare you say no to “giveaways to Exxon?” Where will we get our gas from if the oil industry dies because there are no more tax giveaways? And what of those people who will be unemployed? Sometimes I think you liberals just don’t get it.

  18. Davebo says:

    I don’t know any self proclaimed libertarian who supported the Iraq War, or believed we’d be greeted as libertators

    What ever helps you sleep at night Doug. However when I called your name at the antiwar protests in 2003 I never heard a recall…

    So either you aren’t as “libertarian” as you claim or you are like most libertarians, Republicans but ashamed to admit it. And don’t just phone it in. Liberators is indeed a word.

    I’m not dissing you for a typo. There are much bigger fish to fry here.