Obama Officially “Turns Page” on Iraq War to Focus on Afghan War and Domestic Issues

Obama Officially "Turns Page" on Iraq War to Focus on Afghan War and Domestic Issues

Obama Announces the End of Combat Mission in Iraq

Tuesday August 31, 2010 was a day that President Barak Obama had been waiting for since long before he took over as commander-in-chief.  During his 18-minute address to the American people, President Obama announced an official end to combat missions by American forces in Iraq.  While he acknowledged that there were still some 50,000 American troops stationed in the Iraq war zone, they will no longer be leading the fight against insurgents; instead, they will focus on training and supporting Iraqi military forces in counterterrorist missions, and protecting the American civilians in Iraq.

During his speech, the President thanked all the men and women who sacrificed their time, family life, and safety to serve America.  He gave special thanks and condolences to the more than 4,400 American troops and their families who made the ultimate sacrifice and lost their lives in the line of duty.  President Obama vowed that the American and Iraq military forces were on pace for all U.S. troops to be out of Iraq by the end of next year.  He then encouraged the current interim Iraqi government to assemble a permanent government in short order.  Then, he “turned the page”.

Obama said that now that the combat mission was over in Iraq for the first time in seven and a half years, it was time to turn the page on the controversy and conflict the war has caused in our own country.  The president made it clear that the goal of the American government would be to tackle the challenges of economy and education that the country currently faces. 

However, he also made it clear that the American military would turn its full attention to the war raging against al-Qaeda along the Afghanistan and Pakistan borders.  The president said that with the resources freed up by the troop withdrawal from Iraq, he has issued a “surge” of U.S. forces to subdue opposition forces in Afghanistan quickly and effectively.  The surge is expected to be similar to the tactics used in Iraq in 2007, which brought an end to the most violent of battles.  As we near the ten-year mark of the Afghanistan war, the President stated that barring unforeseen circumstances, troop withdrawal from that country would begin sometime during the next summer.

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