WASHINGTON--President Obama announced Friday that all U.S. troops will be out of Iraq by the end of the year. The significance: A centerpiece of Obama's presidential bid was his opposition to the authorization of the war in Iraq and a pledge to end the Iraqi war. That was a central distinction during the Democratic primary between Obama, then an Illinois state senator, and his chief rival, then Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY), now the Secretary of State.
Obama's announcement comes as the Iraqi government declined to clear the way for U.S. troops to remain.
Obama in 2010 removed the combat troops and declared the combat mission over.
From a White House official "Today the President will announce that we will fulfill our commitment and complete the drawdown of US troops from Iraq by the end of the year. This will allow us to say definitively that the Iraq war is over, and that the partnership between the US and Iraq will be a normal one between two sovereign nations. During their conversation, President Obama and PM Maliki strongly agreed that this is the best way forward for both countries."