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Obama Announces The End To Iraqi War: Fulfilling A Campaign Promise, The Greatest Gift This Year
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Thousands of American families will get their greatest holiday gift this year, their loved ones home from Iraq in time to celebrate with them. President Obama announced the official end to the Iraqi war, one of the longest ongoing conflicts in US history, fulfilling one of his campaign promises and ending a process that started in 2009. Obama made the announcement in a White House briefing following a conference he held via video with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Originally, the plan had been to leave a small number of troops behind, but that has changed now and all of the military members will be coming home by the end of the year according to a White House spokesperson following the briefing.

The war in Iraqi began in 2003 after then President George Bush made the claim that the country was hiding weapons of mass destruction as well as assisting in the September 11th terrorist attacks on the US. That war removed Saddam Hussein from power in the country but left over four thousand US service members dead and another two thousand wounded. There are varied accounts of how many Iraqi civilians and service members have been killed since the war began.

In recent years, the presence of the US military has fallen to a training and advisory role only with a greatly reduced number of troops remaining in the country. Violence has fallen dramatically from its peak in late 2006 to 2007, but attacks are still happening on a daily basis. Obama had previously announced the plan to withdraw troops, bringing home just over five hundred on a daily basis.

Some of the Iraqis would like to have had some US troops remain longer while others are more than happy that they are all pulling out. Negotiations for some training based troops to continue stalled after the Iraqis refused to grant immunity to the Americans who did remain.

Senior Iraqis are concerned about ongoing issues between the Arabs and Kurds in that nation who are constantly battling over who has control of multiple areas in Northern Iraq, some of the most oil rich areas of that nation. Several tribal leaders had protested an ongoing American presence, demanding that they leave once and for all.

Both Obama and al-Maliki can declare a victory in this matter: Obama is making good on a promise he made during his presidential campaign while al-Maliki can once again claim that is nation is its own. Iraq's police, military and security forces have all recieved training by the US military, allowing them to take over their own protection from the US troops.


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