ATLANTA — President Barack Obama declared Monday that the Iraq war was nearing an end “as promised and on schedule,” touting what he called a success of his administration though it comes amid persistent instability and uncertainty in Iraq.
Obama cited progress toward meeting his deadline of withdrawing all U.S. combat troops from Iraq by the end of this month. A transitional force of 50,000 troops will remain to train Iraqi security forces, conduct counterterrorism operations and provide security for ongoing U.S. civilian efforts. Under an agreement negotiated in 2008 with the Iraqis, all American troops are to be gone from Iraq by the end of next year.
“The hard truth is we have not seen the end of American sacrifice in Iraq,” Obama said in a speech to the national convention of the Disabled American Veterans. “But make no mistake, our commitment in Iraq is changing – from a military effort led by our troops to a civilian effort led by our diplomats.”